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999 calls and emergency incidents

This privacy notice is designed to help you understand how and why your information is processed during an emergency call and also during the fire service responding to an incident.

Are calls recorded and do you have the callers’ number?

All calls that are made in and out of our Control Room are recorded, including 999 calls.

They are recorded so that they can be played back if we need to check the details and recordings are sometimes used as evidence in court cases. No warning is given that the calls are recorded at the time of making the call as this would obviously cause delay in an emergency situation.

When you call 999 it is vital that your number is recorded by fire control, so that we can contact you again if we need further information from you during the incident or for the purposes of fire investigation.

Even if you have barred the 'calling line identity' facility, your telephone number will be displayed to the telephone exchange operator. This is a safety feature to enable us to ascertain an approximate location of the emergency.

Why do you need to process my information?

Under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service have a statutory duty to extinguish fires and protect life and property in the event of fire and road traffic collisions. We also have a responsibility, where necessary, to attend emergencies other than fires and road traffic collisions.

It is a legal obligation for us to make arrangements for dealing with emergency calls for help and summoning personnel. If we did not collect and use this information, we would not be able to effectively provide an emergency response.

The personal information we are likely to collect during a 999 call or at an incident include;

  • Caller’s telephone number and name where required
  • The address of the incident, which may be the address of your property
  • Injured parties’ names, injuries, details of any medical support given, age and gender

We may need to collect and use sensitive information, such as health details, where this is necessary to meet our obligations.

In order to make arrangements to respond to an incident we are required to obtain certain information. When you call 999 we collect and use your details and information regarding the incident to assist with our duty to protect and preserve life and deal with incidents that cause or likely to cause harm to the environment. At the incident, we will collect details of injured parties.

We also have powers to investigate causes of fires, and any information gathered during the emergency call could be used during the investigation.

During a response to an incident, information may be passed to partner agencies who are also attending, such as other emergency services. We may collect medical information to support the ambulance service in providing care to you, in order to protect your vital interests.

Following an incident, we send an ‘After the Incident Feedback Card’ to the premises and ask that it is completed and returned so that we can monitor the service that’s been provided. The information provided will only be used to ensure that we are providing a good level of service to our diverse communities. If you express dissatisfaction with the service we will use the incident number to review our records of what happened and identify if we can make any improvements in the future. All published reports using the information will be anonymous - names are not included.

How will my information be used?

The 999 call is directed to Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service Control Room, and the caller is asked numerous questions regarding the incident. During busy periods the call may be taken by Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service or Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service Control Rooms.

We collect information such as the address where the emergency is, what is on fire, or what other emergency you have, to enable us to decide what our response will be, for example, how many fire engines we will send.

We can then gather other valuable information from the caller which will be passed on to the operational crew while they are en-route to the incident. This information may include things such as do you know if anybody is trapped and their whereabouts? Whether there are hazards such as an oil tank or gas cylinders near the fire or incident? How many vehicles are involved in the collision?

We may need to know a caller’s name and address. This can be used as a guide to where the incident has been seen from and to enable the crew to locate the original caller if there are any difficulties locating the incident. We would also ask a caller’s name if they were the one trapped by fire or involved in another incident.

If we reasonably believe a fire is about to, or has, broken out, we can enter the building, by force if necessary, without the consent of the owner for the purpose of extinguishing or preventing the fire or protecting life or property.

After the incident certain information is entered into our Enterprise Information System (EIS) which is an incident recording system. The information is recorded against an incident number not an individual’s name. Names are only included for serious injuries or fatalities. The links below take you to documents that show the type of information which is included within the system and the statistics that are published from the data.

Types of information collected

Statistics which are published

The information gathered is used to manage our performance, inform Our Plan (Integrated Risk Management Plan) which is a requirement of the National Firefighter Framework and report to Government and auditors.

Who will have access to the information?

The information gathered during the incident is stored on the Control mobilising system(s), with access restricted to those who need it to perform their role, including the Control Room staff in Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service or Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service.

As stated, there may be occasions where it is identified that a multi-agency response is required, and relevant details about the incident may be disclosed to other parties to enable their emergency response.

Information regarding the incident is shared with operational crews to help assist with deployment and their response. Verbal and electronic messages will continuously be relayed between operational crews and control to ensure an effective response to the incident is provided.

In regards to the information within our EIS Incident Recording System, this is accessed by those within the Service who have a role requirement to access the system and also the Home Office. Find out more information about the Home Office..

There may be occasions where the information we have gathered regarding an incident, including our response, is disclosed to other agencies upon request. For example, the Police may be investigating the cause of an incident and they require certain information for the prevention and detection of crime or apprehension of an offender, this could include the details of the caller. The Health and Safety Executive may be investigating an incident and require the information. In the unfortunate circumstances of a fatality, the Coroner will request that we disclose certain information for them to take into consideration during a Coroner’s Inquest. We will not rely on your consent to disclose this information, as we will have another legal basis that can be relied upon.

We do receive requests for copies of the incident reports and fire investigation reports, and these are disclosed to members of the public who can provide evidence of residence or ownership of a property or vehicle or to solicitors, insurance companies and loss adjusters who are acting on behalf of the owner/occupier of an affected property or vehicle. Information can also be provided to someone acting on behalf of an individual who has been recorded on the incident record as being injured as a result of the incident. Necessary identification will be requested to ensure information is not disclosed inappropriately.

To support community safety messages we may also use general incident information without names and identifying details (so it is depersonalised).

How long will you keep hold of my information?

How long we retain the information depends on the purpose it was collected for. We keep:

Call recordings for the current year plus five years.

Incident data on the mobilising system for the current year plus ten years.

Information on the Enterprise Information System (EIS) incident recording system is held indefinitely allowing the Home Office analysts to perform useful longer term trend analysis into the drivers of change.

Feedback cards for the current year plus ten years.

Information about fire investigation is included within that specific privacy notice.

Is there anything else I need to know when it comes to my personal information?

Find out more about the rights you have when it comes to your personal information or who you can contact to discuss it further.

Who can I contact about my personal information?

You can contact our Data Protection Officer with regard to any issues related to the processing of your personal information, including exercising any of your rights or making a complaint.

We encourage people to bring to our attention any instances where they think our collection, or use of, information is unfair, misleading or inappropriate.

Data Protection Officer
Joint Police & Fire Headquarters
Butterley Hall
Derbyshire DE5 3RS 

Telephone: 01773 305305

Right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office

If you wish to complain about any aspect of the handling of your request, then you should contact our Data Protection Officer at:

Data Protection Officer
Joint Police & Fire Headquarters
Butterley Hall
Derbyshire DE5 3RS 

Telephone: 01773 305305

If informal resolution is not possible and you are still dissatisfied then you may apply for an independent internal review by our Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive.  Please note that any request for an internal review must be made within 40 working days of the date on which the attempt to reach informal resolution has come to an end.

If you remain dissatisfied following an internal review, you may take your complaint to the Information Commissioner.  Please note that the Information Commissioner will not investigate your case until our internal review process has been completed. 

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK's independent body set up to uphold information rights.  You have a right to lodge complaints with them.

To find out more about them, visit

To contact them, either visit their website, dial 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745 or write to them at: 

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Cheshire SK9 5AF 

Last updated 1 October 2018

Privacy policy - 999 Calls and emergency Incidents (pdf 100.68 KB)