Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) was established by the Emergency Services Telecommunications Act 2004 to provide emergency call taking and dispatch and other communications services to emergency services organisations throughout Victoria (the services).
ESTA currently provides services to the following organisations:
- Country Fire Authority;
- Ambulance Victoria;
- Metropolitan Fire Brigade;
- Victoria Police; and,
- Victoria State Emergency Service
ESTA is committed to protecting the privacy of personal information that we handle. Personal information is information that directly or indirectly identifies a person.
ESTA is bound by the Victorian privacy laws (the Information Privacy Act 2000 and the Health Records Act 2001) and the Commonwealth Privacy Act as well as other laws that impose specific obligations in regard to handling information. Victorian privacy laws are published on the Victorian Government website at www.privacy.gov.au; copies can be purchased from Privacy Victoria telephone 1300 666 444.
All calls to Triple Zero, VICSES emergency calls and operational radio communications are voice recorded. Under the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 ESTA may listen to or record, by any means, such a communication within a ‘emergency service facility’ without the knowledge of the person making the communication. Administration telephony systems within the State Emergency Communications Centres are not recorded.
ESTA has adopted the respective Privacy Principles contained in the Victorian privacy laws as our standards in relation to handling personal information.
In broad terms this means that we:
- collect only information needed for the provision of ESTA’s services
- take reasonable steps to ensure personal information is accurate, complete, up-to-date and relevant to the functions performed;
- use and disclose it only for ESTA’s service provision purposes, for another purpose with the person's consent, or as otherwise authorised by law;
- store it securely, protecting it from unauthorised access;
- retain it for the period authorised by the Public Records Act 1973;and
- provide the person with access to their own information, and the right to seek its correction.
This policy is complemented by ESTA’s Internal Procedures intended to assist ESTA to put this Policy into practice.
Why We Collect and Use Your Personal Information
Below are the most common reasons that ESTA may collect and use your personal information:
- If you ring Triple Zero or VICSES to request assistance from an emergency service.
- When seeking to obtain your direct feedback on services provided by ESTA.
- If you seek to be or are employed by ESTA (including referee and police checks).
- If you request information from ESTA.
In some cases, we collect information from others on your behalf e.g. where another person calls Triple Zero or VICSES on your behalf seeking emergency assistance as you are incapable of providing the information due to age, injury, disease, illness, disability, physical impairment or mental disorder.
We also collect and use some personal information for planning, monitoring and evaluating our services and functions but where practicable we remove identifying details from information used for these purposes.
ESTA also uses personal information in relation to its Junior Triple Zero Heroes program which aims to recognise and reward children who have used Triple Zero correctly in an emergency situation.
ESTA may use or disclose some personal information as part of research projects with external organisations but this would occur only in accordance with guidelines established under the Victorian privacy laws.
All calls to Triple Zero, VICSES emergency calls and operational radio communications are voice recorded. We also use call line identification technology that provides the name and address of the caller. This is critical where a caller is unable to provide location details.
When you call Triple Zero or VICSES seeking emergency assistance you consent to your personal and health information being collected, used and disclosed for the purpose of providing that service.
What happens if we cannot collect your Personal Information?
If you do not provide us with the information that is necessary to provide the requested emergency service, it may affect the quality and outcome of the service received.
When we disclose your Personal Information, we usually provide your personal information to the emergency services organisations that provide the requested emergency assistance.
Your information may also be provided to the following organisations to ensure you receive the best possible service from us:
- To the Office of the Emergency Services Commissioner which is responsible for monitoring and investigating the performance (in matters that are not financial matters) of ESTA in relation to the provision of services by ESTA to emergency services and other related services organisations.
- To other organisations as required or authorised by law.
Accessing information that ESTA Holds
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 1982 gives some limited rights of access to information that ESTA holds. You can also request that incorrect information be amended.
If you wish to access information held by ESTA by making application under the FOI Act please write to:
Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority
Level 6, 215 Spring Street
Phone: (03) 8656 1200
Facsimile: (03) 8656 1299
Each application must clearly identify the documents sought and be accompanied with proof of identification (e.g. a clear photocopy of driver’s licence) and a cheque or money order payable to ESTA for the $25.10 (as at 1 July 2012) FOI application fee.
For further information on the Victorian Freedom of Information Act1982 please visit http://www.foi.vic.gov.au/