Fire & Rescue Service privacy notice

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service (WSFRS) privacy notice specifically for members of the public rather than employees.

This privacy notice explains:

  • how personal information is going to be used
  • what it is used for
  • who it might be shared with and why
  • how long it is kept.

The information you provide helps us to deliver our services effectively.

Personal and special category data

The categories of personal data we are processing are:

  • individual details: Name, address, other contact details (such as email and telephone numbers), gender, marital status, date and place of birth, nationality, employer, job title and employment and training history, family details including their relationship to you
  • special categories of personal data: Certain categories of personal data have additional protection under the GDPR. The categories are health, criminal convictions, racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, genetic data, biometric or data concerning sex life or sexual orientation.

We may also receive information from:

  • your family members, employees or representatives
  • other public authorities such as the police, ambulance service, local authorities and the NHS
  • private organisations who you have given permission to share your information with for fire safety reasons
  • other organisations such as companies who you have given permission to share your information for security or key holding purposes.

Data Controller

West Sussex County Council (WSCC) complies with the Data Protection Act and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It is registered as a ‘Data Controller’ with the Information Commissioner’s Office (Reg. No. Z6413427). 

You can find details for the WSCC Data Protection Officer (DPO) on our Privacy Policy.

We ensure that your personal data is processed fairly and lawfully, is accurate, is kept secure and is retained for no longer than is necessary.

The legal basis for processing personal data

Processing is necessary:

  • to protect the vital interests of a data subject or another person
  • for the performance of a legal obligation
  • for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller, namely but not limited to:
    • Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004
    • Local Government Act
    • Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
    • Civil Contingency Act 2004
    • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
    • Criminal Justice act 2003
    • Police and Criminal Evidence act 1984
    • Care Act 2015
    • The Mental Capacity Act 2005
    • Mental Health Act 1983, 2007
    • Local Safeguarding Children and Adults Boards Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/90)
    • The Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

The legal basis for processing special category data

  • Explicit consent of the data subject.
  • Processing is necessary to protect the vital interests of a data subject or another individual where the data subject is physically or legally incapable of giving consent.
  • Processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest on the basis of law which is proportionate to the aim pursued and which contains appropriate safeguards.
  • If a child or other person is considered to be at risk of significant harm, people working with you will have a duty of care to share the information with the relevant services without consent.


Consent may be required for carrying out incidental activities that help us carry out our public duty; we will make it clear to you when consent is being requested. Where personal data is solely processed on the basis of consent, you will have the right to withdraw that consent.

How we use your personal information

Our Privacy Policy determines how we use personal data. We use it specifically for:

  • firefighting and emergency services, including managing responses to incidents
  • fire investigation
  • fire prevention (awareness, advice and guidance) - community safety
  • protection – business fire safety
  • addresses of fire-related risks, for example use of home oxygen, threat of arson
  • telling you about services appropriate to you, signposting additional help or services available to you
  • carrying out safe and well visits (see separate privacy notice for further information)
  • monitoring the quality and effectiveness of our services
  • investigating concerns or complaints about our services
  • obtaining feedback from you on how we are performing
  • planning new services
  • statistical analysis and reporting
  • emergency contact information
  • agreements you may have with West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service.

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

WSFRS is required to forward statistical information to government agencies but this data has no personal or identifiable personal data within the information provided.

Who we share your information with

Call handling and mobilisation functions are discharged by Surrey Fire and Rescue Service for WSFRS pursuant to Section 16 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004. We may pass data to:

  • our employees
  • all Civil Contingency Act 2004 category 1 responders
  • family, associates and representatives of the person whose personal data we are processing
  • suppliers and service provider
  • public utilities, for example to cut off a gas supply at an incident
  • insurance companies, where they are authorised to act on your behalf
  • legal advisers
  • healthcare and welfare organisations
  • people making an enquiry or complaint
  • police forces
  • security organisations
  • local and central government
  • law enforcement and prosecuting authorities
  • courts
  • auditors
  • Coroner’s Office.

We will not share data with third parties for marketing purposes. In line with our legal duties and in the public interest we may share information with other organisations such as the police, the NHS or social services where there is a public safety and security reason, for example:

  • for the investigation, detection and prevention of a crime or if we are required to do so by law
  • helping the policy and relevant authorities to identify trends and issues relating to fires
  • if there are serious risks to the public, our staff or other professionals
  • to protect children or vulnerable adults.

Home Office

If your household or business has accessed WSFRS via an emergency call, your personal information will be shared with the Home Office for research and statistical purposes. For more information on how the Home Office processes this data visit GOV.UK.

How long we will keep your personal data

Personal data will not be retained for longer than is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are collected.

The council is currently reviewing and updating its retention policies. See our records management page for published retention schedules.

Your rights

See our Privacy Policy for more information on your rights.


See our Privacy Policy for information about making a complaint.

Last updated:
30 May 2024
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