Rescue services responded to over 100,000 emergency calls in 2022
The Finnish rescue services responded to about 100,700 emergency calls last year, of which about 66,600 were urgent. Of these calls, 11,856 were fires and 16,210 were traffic accidents. The total number of emergency calls was slightly lower than the average in preceding years. For example, in 2018–2020, the average number of emergency calls responded by the rescue services was over 107,000 a year.
On average, the rescue services responded to about 276 emergency calls a day last year.
As in previous years, the most common type of emergency call that the rescue services responded to were inspection and verification assignments, of which there were 30,911. These assignments include for example inspections of smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. The second most common type of assignment were first response assignments, of which there were a total of 16,904 last year.
The average response time of the first rescue services unit on the scene in 2022 was 9 minutes and 19 seconds.
“The rescue services have a very wide range of duties, which can be seen in fires representing only a bit over one-tenth of emergency calls,” says Senior Officer for Rescue Services Rami Ruuska from the Ministry of the Interior.
“Real-time statistics on the rescue services are available to everyone in the rescue services’ Pronto system. Last year’s statistics may be still be updated in early 2023,” Ruuska says.
Decline in statistics on emergency calls indicates that preventive work has succeeded
For years, a key task of the rescue services has been to prevent accidents, and this work is slowly beginning to show in the statistics on emergency calls.
For example, the number of building fires has dropped from about 6,000 to 5,000 over the past ten years. The number of deaths by fire has also decreased by about half during the same period. The unconfirmed number of deaths by fire in 2022 is 47.
Accident prevention can be roughly divided into safety communications, guidance, advice, and supervisory tasks, such as fire inspections. Rescue departments reached nearly 600,000 people through safety communications, such as various training courses. Rescue departments held about 7,300 security communications events. A significant number of these events were for children and young people.
“Safety communications aim to improve the ability of people to manage their own safety environment. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, people have needed much more information on crisis preparedness,” says Senior Officer for Rescue Services Jari Lepistö from the Ministry of the Interior.
The COVID-19 pandemic had some impact on the number of supervisory assignments. For example, there were nearly 195,000 supervisory assignments in 2019, while there were 165,000 in 2021. The number of supervisory assignments in 2022 will be updated during the beginning of the year.
“The aim of fire inspections and document checks related to supervisory tasks is to make sure that the safety of businesses, public bodies and homes is on a level that minimises the number of accidents,” Lepistö says.
Rami Ruuska, Senior Officer for Rescue Services, tel. +358 50 456 009, [email protected] (emergency calls)
Jari Lepistö, Senior Officer for Rescue Services, tel. +358 50 413 6805, [email protected] (accident prevention)