Your personal data

This page explains how Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) obtains, holds, uses and discloses information about people (their personal data). It explains the steps we take to ensure that it is protected, and also describes the rights individuals have in regard to the handling of their personal data by CFRS.

The use and disclosure of personal data is governed in the United Kingdom by the Data Protection Act 2018 (the Act) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The Chief Fire Officer of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is a ‘data controller’ for the purposes of the Act. As such is obliged to ensure that Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service handles all personal data in accordance with the Act. 

Our commitment to you

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is committed to protecting your personal data and privacy. We recognise that ensuring the accuracy and security of your personal data is essential to retaining your confidence and trust. The information you provide to us will only be used for the purposes that you provide it and will never be used for third party marketing.

When we collect your personal data we will normally tell you:

Note: In emergency situations we will need to deal with the emergency and so will not be able to tell you about any data handling at the time.

We often tell you why we need your personal data by including a privacy statement on any forms or letters. In areas where we use Closed circuit Television (CCTV) we provide signs to inform you that we are using CCTV.

We take our Data Protection Act responsibilities extremely seriously and understand how valuable your personal data is.

You can find out about more about how we collect and handle your data generally on these web pages or by contacting us.

Visit our Privacy pages to find out how we collect and use data on-line and on our website activities.

Visit our CCTV page to find out more about when we use CCTV.

Visit our Departmental pages for more details about how we use your information to provide different.

Why we collect your personal data

As a Fire and Rescue Service we deliver a number of services:

Providing emergency services and promoting fire safety under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 

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    Promoting fire safety in homes and schools

     

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    Promoting road safety 

     

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    Extinguishing fires and attending other emergency incidents

     

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    Attending road traffic incidents and rescuing people from vehicles

     

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    Fire Investigation

     

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    Arson reduction 

     

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    Youth engagement

     

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    All emergency calls are handled by North West Fire Control.

     

To provide these services properly we need to share information about our staff and other contacts. 

For more information see our Prevention Data Privacy Statement (new window, PDF 381KB) and Emergency services privacy notice (new window, PDF 243KB)

Enforcing Fire Safety under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

  • Promoting fire safety and providing advice to non-domestic premises 

  • Inspecting premises and enforcing fire safety legislation

For more information see our Protection and Organisational Performance privacy notice (new window, PDF 187KB)

Managing our staff under current employment laws 

  • Recruitment and staff administration

  • Occupational health and welfare

  • DBS checks and Vetting

  • Payroll and benefits management

  • Pensions administration 

For more information see the Staff Privacy Notice (new window, PDF 326KB), Pension (FPS) privacy notice (new window, PDF 88KB) and Cheshire Pension Fund Privacy Notice (new window, PDF 58KB)

The provision of services to support the above purposes or where other law permits

  • Democratic services, who provide support for elected members of the Fire Authority and manage complaints

  • Working with other emergency services and local partners such as:  Police, Ambulance Service, local councils, health, charities and voluntary organisations

  • Management of public relations, advertising and media

  • Management of finance and insurance

  • Record and evaluate our work 

  • Internal review, accounting and auditing, and inspection by HMICFRS 

  • Property management

  • Vehicle and fleet management

  • Management and testing of information technology systems

  • Security

  • Legal services

  • Research, including surveys

  • Procurement

  • Planning

  • Health and safety management

Detailed privacy notices

To assist you to find the information you need here is a list of our detailed department privacy notices:

Whose personal data do we handle?

In order to carry out the services required of a Fire and Rescue Service, we may obtain, use and disclose personal data relating to a wide variety of individuals including the following:

  • Staff including volunteers, agents, temporary and casual workers

  • Members of the Fire Authority

  • Individuals involved in or reporting incidents including witnesses

  • Suppliers

  • Complainants, correspondents and enquirers

  • Relatives, guardians and associates of the individual concerned

  • Advisers, consultants and other professional experts

  • Former and potential members of staff, pensioners and beneficiaries

  • Any other individuals necessarily identified in the course of official enquiries and activity.

  • Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service will only use appropriate personal data necessary to fulfil a particular purpose or purposes. 

What types of personal data do we handle? 

In order to carry out the services required of a Fire and Rescue Service, we may obtain, use and disclose a range of personal data specific to the service required or situation. More details are available on our Department Privacy Notices and examples include: 

  • Personal details such as name, address and biographical details

  • Family, lifestyle and social circumstances

  • Employment, education and training details

  • Goods or services provided

  • Special category data such as health

  • Offences (including alleged offences)

  • Criminal proceedings, outcomes and sentences

  • Sound and visual images

  • Information relating to health and safety

  • Complaint, incident and accident details.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service will only use appropriate personal data necessary to fulfil a particular purpose or purposes.

Information provided to us

We work in partnership with other Fire and other Emergency services including Police and Health, Central government and private, charitable and voluntary organisations. 

From the NHS

Colleagues at Health support us by providing us with a list of over 65s names and addresses (see below for the NHS Fair Processing Notice) which we use for our Safe and Well visits.

This helps us to target our home safety advice to those most at risk and we can also provide a wider range of help. For example, we also provide awareness of trips and falls, signposting and referrals to other agencies, and support health initiatives such as bowel cancer screening and the Winter Flu programme.

This list of names and addresses is handled with great care and does not include any information about individual’s health. This data sharing has helped us to improve safety for individual’s in the most efficient way, and has been commended nationally.  

Health also advise us of names and addresses of clients who use oxygen at home. This helps us to provide safety advice and to respond appropriately if a fire occurs.

NHS England Fair Processing Notice

NHS England, the Royal College General Practitioners and Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) in England work together to share information (where relevant, proportionate and necessary) to allow fire service personnel to undertake home safety assessments for those would most benefit from a visit.

The majority of fire deaths in the UK occur amongst the elderly population. However older people are most vulnerable to fire and a number of other risks. A home visit from the FRS is proven to make them safer and can reduce risk significantly.

In one area of the United Kingdom where this work has been piloted since 2007, there has been very significant reductions in fire deaths and injuries which has developed into a current trend well below the national average. So we know this work can save many lives.

The FRS and NHS will continue to work together in the future to ensure the visits undertaken by the FRS are effective in helping to make making people safe and well.

Data may also be supplied by other agencies

  • Other Emergency services

  • Local authorities

  • HM Revenue and Customs

  • Courts and Legal representatives

  • Partner agencies, Private and Voluntary sector organisations

  • Central government, governmental agencies and departments

  • Relatives, guardians or other persons associated with the individual

  • Healthcare, social and welfare advisers or practitioners

  • Education, training establishments and examining bodies

  • Financial organisations and advisers, Credit reference agencies

  • Survey and research organisations

  • Trade, employer associations and professional bodies

  • Local government

  • Ombudsmen and regulatory authorities

Data processors working on behalf of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service 

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service may also obtain personal data from other sources such as its own CCTV systems, or correspondence.

Sharing your information

We have a responsibility to promote social wellbeing. To do this we often work with other councils and community partners and this sometimes includes sharing your personal or sensitive information between different agencies.

Data sharing can help to ensure that you receive the relevant services. The agencies that we share with or obtain data from includes:

  • Community organisations - such as Sensory loss and Telecare, Domestic Abuse agencies.

  • Unitary authorities (Councils), including Social Care, Housing Associations

  • Police

  • Voluntary services - such as Age UK and the Deaf Awareness Network

  • Health Service, and their partners - such as Air Liquide.

  • North West Ambulance Service

However, in almost all such cases, we will make you aware if your information is intended to be used in this way and provide the opportunity for you to say NO. The exception to this is when we are required by law to pass on information. This is explained below.

We also strive to ensure that any personal data used by us or on our behalf is of the highest quality in terms of accuracy, relevance and adequacy and is not excessive. We will strive to ensure that personal data is kept as up to date as required, is protected appropriately, and is reviewed, retained and securely destroyed when no longer required. We will respect individual's rights under the Act.

More about our data sharing work (new window, PDF 101KB)

How we use and share your information (new window, PDF 110KB)

Situations where your consent is not required

There are some situations where we are required by law to provide information to other organisations.  In these situations your consent is not necessary. Examples of these organisations include:

  • Central government 

  • Auditors

  • Suppliers employed to process our data - such as Message Pad, Mouchel

  • Other crime and disorder partners

Where possible, this information is made anonymous to protect your privacy. The exceptions to this include:

  • Information provided to Crime agencies relating to prevention and detection of crime

  • Information which is necessary to prevent serious risk to individuals

  • Provision of data to organisations who process data on our behalf. Examples of this currently includes our payroll provider, and analysis of our safety initiatives

  • Staff payroll and pension data, which is provided to external bodies responsible for auditing and administering public funds. This is for preventing and detecting fraud.  You can obtain further details from the National Fraud Initiative (opens in new window). For more information - Cabinet Office National Fraud Initiative.

How do we ensure the security of personal data? 

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service takes the security of all personal data under our control very seriously. We comply with the relevant parts of the Act relating to security, and align with relevant parts of the ISO27001 Information Security Standard. We will ensure that appropriate policy, training, technical and procedural measures are in place, including audit and inspection, to protect our manual and electronic information systems from data loss and misuse. We will only permit access to them when there is a legitimate reason to do so, and then under strict guidelines as to what the personal data can be used for. These procedures are continuously managed and enhanced to ensure up-to-date security.

Your personal data rights

Individuals have various rights enshrined in the Act;

Further detail can be found by selecting the above rights or by visiting the Data Protection page.

How long do we store your data?

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service only keeps personal information as long as is necessary for the particular purpose or purposes for which it is held.
The Retention of Documents Policy provides the minimum standards for the retention and disposal of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service records. 

Monitoring

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service may monitor, record and retain telephone calls, texts, emails and other electronic communications to and from the service in order to deter, prevent and detect inappropriate or criminal activity, to ensure security, and to assist the purposes described in in this privacy notice.
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service does not place a pre-recorded ‘fair processing notice’ on telephone lines that may receive emergency calls (including misdirected ones) because of the associated risk of harm that may be cause by the delay in response to the call. 

Contact Us

As part of the Bluelight Collaboration between Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cheshire Constabulary, the Data Protection Officer (DPO) fulfils the role of DPO for the joint corporate services.
Any concerns regarding the collection and use of information should be addressed to the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cheshire Constabulary Joint Corporate Services Data Protection Officer: 

The Data Protection Officer,
Cheshire Constabulary HQ,
Clemonds Hey,
Oakmere Road,
Winsford,
CW7 2UA
Telephone: 01606 362384
Email: requests@cheshire.pnn.police.uk

Explanatory notes:

  • 'Personal Data' is a term used in the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In practical terms it means information handled by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service that relates to identifiable living individuals. It can include intentions and expressions of opinion about the individual. The information can be held electronically or as part of paper records, and can include CCTV footage and photographs. For ease of readers this document refers to the handling, use, holding etc of personal data. The term ‘processes’ effectively covers any usage of personal data.
  • This page is designed to help satisfy the ‘transparency’ requirements as required by the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and may be regarded as a generic over-arching ‘Privacy Notice’ for the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service. Additional more specific Privacy Notices may appear in other circumstances such as on forms, force policies, email footers, or CCTV signage.
  • Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cheshire Fire Authority use a range of methods, including face-to-face interviews, telephone and postal surveys, both to identify community priorities and to establish public satisfaction levels so our performance and effectiveness can be evaluated and improved. Depending on the purpose of the survey, the questionnaires may be targeted at members of the public chosen randomly according to accepted statistical principles. Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, like many fire services, uses a private company to undertake some surveys on our behalf with strict controls to protect the personal data of those involved.