EU granted Finland funding for fighting forest fires
Finland has received EU funding to build a rescue team for fighting forest fires. The European Commission granted co-financing for a joint project of the rescue departments of South Karelia, North Karelia, South Savo, North Savo and Kymenlaakso for the procurement of special equipment required for a rescue team fighting forest fires.
The rescue team to be set up with EU funding will improve Finland’s preparedness for major forest fires. The team can be easily deployed elsewhere in Europe as needed. The rescue team is a quickly deployable special rescue unit consisting of 55 people and several vehicles. It can be used for forest fire fighting and for water transportation in Finland and more widely in Europe.
The team can also be deployed to flooded areas and used for high capacity pumping. The nearest similar rescue teams are currently located in France and Poland.
This rescue team is part of the Finn Rescue Team, and is internationally known as Arctic Ground Forest Firefighting using Vehicles.
Rescue team to start its operations in 2023
The rescue team for which funding was granted is to be operational at the beginning of 2023. The total value of the project is approximately EUR 1,553,000, with the EU contributing EUR 1,165,000. The project financing comes from the EU Civil Protection Pool (ECPP), which is part of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. By accepting this financing, Finland undertakes to participate in the ECPP for a period of seven years. The objective is to create a rescue team that meets the performance requirements of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
The EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre can deploy the rescue team to perform wildfire rescue duties in another European country if it needs assistance.
EU Civil Protection Mechanism offers emergency assistance to 27 EU Member States
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism is a system operating under the European Commission and consisting of 27 member states, the United Kingdom, and six participating states (Iceland, Norway, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey) that supports and coordinates emergency response to disasters and major accidents.
The Civil Protection Pool brings together the national resources of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism member states, guaranteeing sufficient assistance when the scale of an emergency overwhelms the response capabilities of a country. The assistance may take the form of specialised rescue modules or expert and material assistance. EU financing is available for the development and maintenance of national resources.
Jani Kareinen, Head of Rescue Services, South Karelia Rescue Department, tel. +358 40 636 1484
More information about the project, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and international rescue operations
Pekka Tiainen, Senior Specialist, Ministry of the Interior, Department for Rescue Services, tel. +358 50 456 4477, [email protected]