West Midlands Fire Service has won a national award for a system that helps firefighters to assess their personal safety at incidents.

The Service’s STAR model, communicated via e-learning, asks firefighters to ‘Stop, Think, Act, and Review' when faced with new or unexpected hazards and when working without direct supervision. Injuries at incidents fell from 51 in 2011/12 to 23 in 2012/13 as a result of the programme.

Phil Hales, Assistant Chief Fire Officer of the West Midlands, said: “Our firefighters’ safety is paramount. This system is a great example of frontline and health and safety staff working closely together, reaping valuable operational benefits. We’re proud of those involved and congratulate them all.”

STAR was awarded ‘Best Health and Safety Achievement in Public Services’ at the SHP IOSH Awards (Safety and Health Practitioner; Institution of Occupational Safety and Health). The judges praised the research and planning that had gone into STAR, providing firefighters with a framework within which to work.

Councillor John Edwards, Chair of West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “The STAR safety model was developed to keep our firefighters safe at incidents, but it can be applied across a range of hazardous occupations. It’s a clear example of our local fire and rescue service leading the way across the country.”