How we use personal information for our response services
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service responds to emergency calls from members of the public. As a data controller, we collect and process personal information about individuals who have been the recipient of our services.
The categories of the information that we collect, process, hold and share include:
- Contact details of the caller
- Audio recording of 999 calls
- Victim incident information (including name, address, gender, telephone no)
- Details of injuries sustained
Why we collect and use this information
We collect this information to enable us to carry out our statutory obligations under the Fire Services Act 2004, and in our official authority as a Fire and Rescue Service. The collection and use of special categories of personal data is done so because it is in the substantial public interest (Article 9(2)(g) of the GDPR and Schedule 1, Part 2, Paragraph 6 of the DPA).
Once the incident is closed, we keep incident data for other purposes including:
- Mandatory reporting of national statistics to the Home Office. This does not include personal information and members of our community cannot be identified from these statistics.
- We may need to provide evidence for court hearings such as audio recordings of 999 calls.
- We share information with our blue light partners to help identify and reduce the number of hoax callers.
We analyse our incident data to identify trends and predict areas within our communities which are more likely to experience fire related emergencies.
We may also contact you after we provide certain services, to obtain your opinion on those services. This helps us to understand your needs, improve our service and help protect you in the future.
Storing this information
We share a control and communications system with Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, and Hampshire Fire & Isle of Wight Rescue Service (as part of the Networked Fire Services Partnership), which we use to mobilise resources in response to an incident. We apply strict security controls to the system to ensure that access is limited to those who need to see it. We keep incident data for 10 years. We record emergency calls and keep the audio for a period of two years, but we may keep specific calls for longer depending on the circumstances; such as if it is needed as evidence for a court hearing.
Who we share this information with and why
- Incident information is collected and shared between our Fire & Rescue partners; Hampshire & Isle of Wight FRS and Devon and Somerset FRS with whom we work together to ensure a robust emergency mobilising system is in place.
- During emergencies or major incidents, we work closely with our other emergency services partners, and share key information to enable the appropriate response from each agency.
- We share information with the Police as required, if we consider a crime has been committed, for example we routinely share information regarding hoax callers.
- In the interest of the public, we also publish details of incidents in our latest incidents news feed on our website and liaise with local press on incidents of interest.
- Incident reports, fire investigation reports and other associated information may be disclosed to owners/occupiers of an affected property or vehicle, as well as partner agencies, housing associations, solicitors, insurance companies, loss adjusters and any other interested party. These are dealt with on a case by basis and only released where a legitimate interest can be proven.
- We share information with the Home Office via their Incident Recording System (IRS) for research and statistical purposes. A copy of the Home Office IRS privacy notice can be accessed here.