Data Protection

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.

As well as the general privacy notice below, this page includes links to more in-depth privacy notices which have either been produced by topic or at a department level.

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

The Chief Fire Officer of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is registered as a ‘data controller’ with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and is responsible for ensuring 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:

  • 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.

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

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.

Why we collect personal data

As a Fire and Rescue Service we deliver a number of services which require the use of personal information.

1. Providing emergency services: 

  • Extinguishing fires

  • Attending other emergency incidents such as road traffic incidents and rescuing people from vehicles

  • Understanding site specific risks

  • Providing essential information to fire crews in an emergency situation.

See our Emergency Services privacy notice for further detail. Emergency Services Privacy Notice

2. Promoting fire safety and preventing fires: 

  • Promoting fire safety in homes, schools and at our educational facility

  • Promoting road safety and preventing road-related injury

  • Reducing risk of fire in the homes of vulnerable people, signposting to support

  • To identify, reduce and resolve deliberate fires

  • Working with young people to develop key skills and confidence

See our Prevention Privacy Statement for further detail. Prevention Privacy Statement

3. Enforcing fire safety and supporting businesses

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

  • Inspecting premises and enforcing fire safety legislation

  • Investigating fires 

  • Dealing with fire safety concerns about non-domestic premises

  • Multi-agency working

  • Providing fire safety advice when non-domestic buildings are built or changed

See our Protection and Organisational Performance privacy notice for further detail Protection and Organisational Performance Privacy Notice

4. Youth engagement

  • Providing interventions for those considered at risk of setting fires

  • Providing skills and qualifications

  • Promoting self-discipline, team work and citizenship

  • Building self-esteem and improve behavior

  • Reducing anti-social behaviour 

  • Building relationships with other young people

  • Safeguarding young people at risk of harm

See our Prevention Privacy Statement for further detail Prevention Privacy Statement

5. Managing staff and volunteers 

  • Recruitment and staff administration

  • Occupational health and welfare, including fitness and functional tests

  • DBS administration and vetting

  • Payroll and benefits management

  • Pensions administration for our firefighters and staff

  • Provision of learning and development

  • Provision of training to other organisations

  • Employee and industrial relations

  • Provision of security and personal risk assessments

  • Provision of support for elected members of the Fire Authority 

See our Staff Privacy Notice privacy notice for further detail. Staff Privacy Notice

6. Services which support the above purposes or where other law permits

  • Working with other emergency services and local partners

  • Management of public relations, events, advertising and media

  • Management of public complaints and compliments about the Service.

  • Facilitating individuals’ information rights and incident disclosures

  • Provision of equality and inclusion

  • Management of finance and insurance

  • Record and evaluate our work

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

  • Property management and logistics

  • Vehicle and fleet management

  • Management and testing of information technology systems

  • Physical and IT Security

  • Legal services

  • Research, including surveys

  • Procurement

  • Planning and business continuity

  • Health and safety management

  • Facilitating the right to petition and questions to the Fire Authority

For more information see our Governance and Commissioning privacy notice and Blue Light Collaboration privacy notice. Governance and Commissioning

Communications and engagement - privacy notice

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, on-call and casual workers

  • Members of the Fire Authority

  • Former and potential members of staff, pensioners and beneficiaries

  • Suppliers and contractors

  • Advisers, consultants and other professional experts

  • Members of the public who engage in one of our services, including young and vulnerable people.

  • Individuals involved in or reporting incidents including victims, witnesses and suspects

  • Complainants, correspondents and enquirers

  • Relatives, guardians and associates of the individual concerned

  • Employees of other organisations, including business owners

  • 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 more detailed privacy notices. However, general examples include: 

  • Name, date of birth or age

  • Address and biographical details

  • Gender

  • Contact details such as telephone and email address

  • Unique identifiers such as National Insurance number, payroll number, driver number and Service number (staff)

  • Place of birth or nationality

  • Family, lifestyle and social circumstances

  • Employment, education and training details

  • Financial, banking and pension data

  • Goods or services provided

  • Special category data (e.g. physical/mental health and disability, race/ethnic origin, religion, sex life or sexual orientation, trade union membership)

  • Offences (including alleged offences)

  • Criminal proceedings, outcomes and sentences

  • Sound and visual images, including audio (e.g. mobile and static CCTV, Drone footage, telephone recordings)

  • Vehicle registration marks

  • 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. See our data protection safeguards policy for further information and our commitment to using special category data. Data Protection Safeguards Policy

Information provided to us

In order to carry out the services required of a Fire and Rescue Service, we may obtain personal data from a variety of organisation. Examples include;

  • Emergency services, such as other Fire and Rescue Services, Police, Health and the North West Fire Control

  • Local authorities

  • HM Revenue and Customs

  • Courts and Legal representatives

  • Partner agencies, Private and Voluntary sector organisations and charities 

  • 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. Further information about data sharing can be located in our detailed privacy notices. However, an overview of the agencies that we share with or obtain data from include:

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

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

  • Emergency services, such as other Fire and Rescue Services, Police, Health and the North West Fire Control

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

  • Health partners - such as Air Liquide.

  • North West Ambulance Service

  • Educational facilities and providers 

  • Work placements

  • Lawyers, consultants and professional experts

  • Insurance industry

  • The Coroner and the Care Quality Commission

  • UK Border Force

  • With Cheshire Constabulary as part of any joint corporate service.

  • HMICFRS and other auditors

  • Health and Safety Executive

  • Organisations providing staff benefits

  • Drug and alcohol testing facilities

  • DVSA

  • Home Office

  • Internally, with other departments

  • Within our Blue Light Collaboration network with Cheshire Constabulary.

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 or where another lawful basis exists.

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.

Situations where your consent is not required

There are some situations where law requires us 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

  • Data processed within the Blue Light Collaboration with Cheshire Constabulary

  • 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).

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. We also tell you how long we keep records within our detailed privacy notices.

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 about each right and how to apply can be found by selecting the above rights.


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

Any concerns regarding the collection and use of information should be addressed to the Governance and Corporate Planning Manager.


Information Manager, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters, Sadler Road, Winsford, Cheshire, CW7 2FQ

Detailed privacy notices

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

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 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 and rescue services, uses a private company to undertake some surveys on our behalf with strict controls to protect the personal data of those involved.

Last updated: Friday, 9 February 2024