30 Finnish persons to Sweden to help fight forest fires

Ministry of the Interior 27.7.2018 12.34 | Published in English on 27.7.2018 at 15.19
Press release 86/2018

Late Thursday evening Sweden accepted Finland’s offer to help in extinguishing forest fires in the country. Finland will send a self-sufficient rescue team with equipment to Sweden. The team will comprise about 30 people and rescue gear such as fire engines, water tenders, motor pumps and all-terrain vehicles. According to preliminary estimates, the rescue personnel will arrive in Sweden by Saturday morning and start working in central Sweden as soon as possible following their arrival.

The Finnish firefighters will work in Sweden for about a week. However, if so required, the operation can also be extended.

The members of the rescue team will be from the North Savo, Oulu-Koillismaa and Lapland Rescue Departments. The firefighters to be deployed have been recruited from several rescue departments and they are currently off duty and not on standby. This ensures that the readiness to respond to possible forest fires and wildfires is maintained in Finland.

The firefighters are members of rescue departments or contract fire brigades.

"It is important to help Sweden fight forest fires with all the resources that we can send without endangering the efficient detection and extinguishing of forest fires in Finland. I wish strength to all those leaving," says Minister of the Interior Kai Mykkänen.

The Crisis Management Centre Finland (CMC Finland), which operates under the Ministry of the Interior and which is co-located with the Emergency Services College, is responsible for practical implementation of Finland’s international civil protection missions. The Centre will act as the coordinator and employer of the rescue team to be deployed to Sweden. CMC Finland will also send a technical team of three persons to support the rescue team. The technical team will help in logistics, communications and purchases on location.

"The national support team is significant as it will allow the rescue team to focus on the essential, that is extinguishing the forest fires," says Kirsi Henriksson, Director of the Crisis Management Centre.

When Sweden sent the first requests for international assistance, CMC Finland raised operational readiness to ensure rapid response if Sweden accepts Finland’s offer for assistance. Both the rescue team and the technical support team are ready to leave within 24 hours.

Inquiries

Jussi Korhonen, Director, Civil Emergency Preparedness, deputising for the Director General for Rescue Services, tel. +358 295 488 289, [email protected] (decision on sending the assistance)
Jukka Räsänen, Planning Officer, Civil Protection, tel. +358 504487955, [email protected] (practical arrangements)
Elina Ollila, Information Officer, Crisis Managemant Centre Finland, tel. +358 295 453 663, [email protected] (interviews of the members of the rescue team until 27.7.)
Titta Andersson-Bohren, Special Adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 50 5131539 (requests for interview with Minister Mykkänen), [email protected]