Festival of rescue

AC Burton on the West Midlands Festival of Rescue

"To have it, here in the West Midlands, is enormously exciting, and to be leading the planning, coordination and delivery of the event is a real honour for me."

The Festival of Rescue coming to the West Midlands is a huge source of pride for me and our Service.  To have it, here in the West Midlands, is enormously exciting, and to be leading the planning, coordination and delivery of the event is a real honour for me.

I joined West Midlands Fire Service in 2001, as a firefighter at Highgate Station.  Moving through various roles across, Prevention, Protection and Response has been a real privilege to learn and understand all the areas our Service has to offer.

As the Area Commander for Operations North, Commonwealth Games and Emergency Planning this is an area I know well – it's ingrained in me, I’ve lived and breathed it throughout my career, and to be able to showcase the best of the work we do as UK Fire and Rescue Services to my communities, my area and my home is the of opportunity of a career.

Most of our communities see us either in their time of need, during our visits to schools, homes, businesses where every opportunity is taken to make the West Midlands safer, stronger and healthier.

Often people see our staff, equipment and resources and the work we do from a distance, provoking a curiosity to what we do.  The public have trust and confidence in us to get on with the job at hand and for that, we are enormously grateful, the opportunity to show them, up close and in realistic scenarios, what we do among our national peers, is one not to be missed.

We’re working extraordinarily hard behind the scenes to prepare for a busy summer – the lead up to the Festival of Rescue is preceded by the Summer of Rescue, where West Midlands Fire Service will be in our communities, giving a taste of the major event to come leading up to and over the summer holidays.

The West Midlands is prepared and ready for big events with our range of sports grounds, music arenas and cultural institutions that offer so much to our communities – this is an area that wants and desires something new, something different, and is desperate to fully enjoy a summer following the hardships of the last two years.  The Commonwealth Games is an excellent circuit breaker for this, to be able to follow this international event with something unique and intriguing is an opportunity we are fully taking, we can only do with the support of our fellow FRSs, our staff and sponsors.

We have a dedicated team working on the Festival of Rescue, securing brilliant event spaces which will give the public a great view of our efforts; creating spaces to engage our communities, using the event to educate people on how to keep themselves and their families safe; and to promote you and your products to a rapt audience of national Fire and Rescue Services, all looking for that next innovation that makes our jobs easier.

It’s an opportunity my team and I have grabbed with both hands – I hope you’ll see the opportunity to be able to do the same.


Posted on May 7, 2022

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