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Data Privacy

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) is committed to protecting your personal data and privacy.  We take our responsibilities extremely seriously and understand how important your personal data is.  To be able to meet our obligations under the Fire and Rescue Services Act (2004), the Civil Contingencies Act (2004) and other legislation it is necessary for us to process your personal information under the lawful basis of ‘public task’ and ‘official authority'. This means we process your personal information for carrying out tasks that are laid down in.  Any personal information you provide us with will be processed (collected, stored, amended, disclosed and destroyed) in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 2016 and the Data Protection Act 2018.

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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 for which you provide it, and will never be used for third party marketing.

Our Data Controller is Chief Fire Officer Andrew Hopkinson; our Senior Information Risk Owner (SIRO) is Assistant Chief Officer Gavin Chambers and our Data Protection Officer is Andy Gilkes. They can be contacted as follows:

Data Protection Officer for Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Jolene Neil
Information Governance Manager
Beds/Herts/Cambs Police

Bedfordshire Police Headquarters
Woburn Road
MK43 9AX

Email: dataprotection@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk

Data Controller for Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Andrew Hopkinson
Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service
Southfields Road
MK42 7NR

Senior Information Risk Owner

Gavin Chambers
Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service
Southfields Road
MK42 7NR

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

If we wish to use your data for an alternative way than originally agreed we will ask always for your consent. In some cases however we do not require your consent.

Please note that in emergency situations we will need to deal with the emergency promptly and so may not be able to tell you about handling your data at the time. We will endeavour to tell you or a family member as soon as possible after the event. We have agreements with the NHS to obtain personal information from them to assist us in our Home Fire Safety visits.

You can find out more about how we collect and handle your data, generally, on this website or by contacting us at: contact@bedsfire.gov.uk  

What is personal and/or sensitive information?

Personal information includes but is not limited to:

  • personal details – for  example: name / age / address / National Insurance number / family  details;

  • lifestyle and social circumstances;

  • financial details;

  • incident and accident details and what services have been provided;

  • licenses, certificates held;

  • education and employment details.

Sensitive personal information that may include:

  • physical or mental health details;

  • racial or ethnic origin;

  • religious or other beliefs;

  • trade union membership;

  • lifestyle and social circumstances;

  • offences and alleged offences.

Why we collect your personal information

BFRS processes personal information in order to carry out firefighting and the delivery of emergency services which includes:

  • Fire, water and road traffic incident prevention through raising awareness, and providing advice and assistance;

  • Fire safety protection and enforcement activities under the various health and safety regulations for workplaces;

  • Investigating and managing responses to fire incidents, road traffic collisions and water rescues;

  • Referrals to other support services;

  • Providing staff development and training activities;

  • Maintaining our own accounts and records including the management of fire service assets and property.

We also process personal information using CCTV systems to monitor and collect visual images for the purpose of security and the prevention and detection of crime.

Requesting a Home Fire Safety visit

When requesting a Home Fire Safety visit through our website we will collect information about you and your household that will be used by the system to make a decision on your eligibility for and priority for a visit.  We ask questions about your household fire risks and use this in conjunction with our Customer Insight information to make an automated decision on the Service you will receive.  If you believe that the decision arrived at is incorrect please contact homefiresafetyvisit@bedsfire.gov.uk

Lawful Basis for Processing your Personal Data:

For example we process personal data for the following lawful purposes to;

•           assist us in meeting our legal obligations as employers,

•           manage contracts with those who supply us with goods and services,

•           help us support those who we come into contact with, which can be done by obtaining their consent, or due to our public task, this includes processes to improve the service we provide the public.

Sharing information with other organisations

We have a responsibility to promote social wellbeing, deliver our services effectively, and support those most at risk. To do this we often need to work with other authorities and agencies. To ensure you receive the relevant services we may need to share your personal and sensitive information with other authorities and partners such as:

  • Hospitals, healthcare and welfare organisations;

  • Local and central government;

  • Public utilities;

  • Bedfordshire Police

  • Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner

  • East of England Ambulance Service

  • Courts and law enforcement / prosecuting authorities;

  • Insurance companies;

  • Coroner's Office

  • Financial organisations (for example the Cabinet Office's National Fraud Initiative);

  • Press / media.

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, except when we are required by law to pass on the information.

Where it is not possible or practical to obtain your consent to share personal and/or sensitive information, we will only share the information we consider it necessary to protect your vital interests such as the protection of life, reduction of crime and accidents, and for improving health.

Where possible your information will be anonymised to remove as much detail as possible leaving only key elements to enable us and our partners to deliver appropriate support resources to you.

Sharing information with our partners will only take place under strict data sharing protocols with tight security in terms of the transfer of information.

Access to your personal information will also be restricted to authorised individuals on a “need to know” basis.

NHS England Fair Processing Notice

NHS England, the Royal College of 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 who would benefit from a visit.

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

In many areas of the United Kingdom where this work has been embedded for a number of years, there has been a significant reduction 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.

When consent is not needed          

There are some situations where we are required by law to provide information and reports to a number of organisations. In these situations your consent is not necessary. These organisations include:

  • Central government;

  • Auditors;

  • Bodies employed to process our data;

  • Other crime and disorder partners.

There are some situations where we are required by law to provide information and reports to a number of organisations. In these situations your consent is not necessary.

Wherever 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 include our payroll and occupational health service provider.

  • Staff payroll 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 Audit Commission.

What are my rights?

Under the DPA (2018) you have several statutory rights relating to your own personal data:

  • The right of rccess - Individuals have the right to access and receive a copy of their personal data, and other supplementary information This is commonly referred to as a subject access request or ‘SAR’.

  • The right to be informed this places an obligation upon Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service to tell you how we obtain your personal information and describe how we will use, retain, store and who we may share it with. We have written this privacy notice to explain how we will use your personal information and tell you what your rights are under the legislation.

  • The right to rectification - you have the right to have inaccurate information about you corrected

  • The right to object - you have the right to object to us using your information, and we would have to stop unless we have a legally sound overriding reason to continue

  • The right to erasure, restrict processing and portability - in specific circumstances, you have the right to have your personal data deleted, to put limits on what we may do with it or to receive a copy in machine-readable form to take to another organisation

  • There are also specific legal rights relating to automated decision.

  • If we are relying on consent to process your personal data, you can withdraw your consent at any time. However, if we are processing your personal data for performance of a contract we will not be relying on consent. 

The Information Commissioner is the independent authority responsible within the UK for ensuring we comply with data protection legislation. 

Make a complaint to the Information Commissioner: If you have a concern about how we have used your personal information, or you believe you have been adversely affected by our handling of your data, you may wish to contact the Information Commissioner;

For more information on your rights under the GDPR see https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/

Access to your information

Please contact us if you:

  • Wish to correct or update the personal information that you have provided to us;

  • Choose to opt out of any communications that you may have agreed to receive;

  • Have any comments, or requests relating to the use of your personal information;

  • Have any comments about this privacy statement.

You can contact us at contact@bedsfire.gov.uk  

How long is your personal information kept?

We will retain your personal information as long as is necessary for the particular purpose or purposes for which it is processed. The Service manages data retention through our data retention schedule, which sets out how long data will be stored. More information is available on request contact@bedsfire.gov.uk 

How we use Cookies

Cookies are very small text files that are stored on your computer when you visit some websites. 

We use cookies that contain anonymous information to help identify your computer and the pages you visit on our site so that we can improve your user experience.  We do not use cookies to capture any personal information. 

You can block any cookies from any website through your browser settings. For more information about how to disable cookies in your browser please visit the About cookies website.

Want to know more?

If you have any queries about Data Protection or want to know more about how we handle your personal data please contact us on contact@bedsfire.gov.uk




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