Government Programme measures to reform rescue services and emergency response centre operations

The Government aims to ensure high-quality rescue services throughout the country. Rescue services must be of high quality and carried out in a uniform manner to make sure people's safety is not compromised. In order to achieve this goal, there must be a sufficient number of rescuers in Finland. The continuity and attractiveness of contract fire brigade operations must also be safeguarded. Rescue sector education and training is provided at two localities, Kuopio and Helsinki. The sector’s ability to attract and retain employees will also be ensured by developing wellbeing at work and improving occupational safety.

The resilience of society will be developed by improving preparedness for civil defence and promoting individual emergency planning among the population in all population groups. The maintenance and good condition of existing civil defence shelters must be ensured.

The Government’s aim is to prevent incidents and accidents. The objectives include halving the number of fires by 2030. The services of the Emergency Response Centre Agency will continue to play an important role in ensuring that people get the help they need in a timely fashion.

National guidance of rescue services will be strengthened so that all wellbeing services counties can develop equal services in a goal-oriented manner.

Schedule and objectives for measures related to rescue services 

The table presents the Government’s key rescue service projects and information on their schedule and objectives.

Measure Schedule Objectives
Increasing student intake and developing the education and training for rescuers 2024−2032 Double the number of available student places for rescuers at the Emergency by 2032. Develop rescuer education and training, for example by examining qualification contents and requirements.
Implementation of the second phase of the Rescue Act reform Government proposal in 2026. The aim is that the amendments will enter into force at the start of 2027. Reform the Rescue Act for parts not reformed in the first phase of the reform of the Act. In addition to the needs for reforms identified in the preliminary study, the reform will also take into account studies on civil defence and preparedness in 2022–2023.
Legislative project on amending section 55 of the Rescue Act Government proposal in autumn 2024 It is proposed that the Rescue Act be amended so that public bodies meeting certain criteria can be granted funding for the provision of professional rescue sector education and training within the limits of the appropriations allocated in the Budget.
Launch of integrated command and situation centres for rescue authorities Decrees entered into force on 4 April 2024 The aim is, among other things, to better identify changes and threats to rescue services.
Improving the ability of the health, social and rescue services sectors to attract and retain employees through the Good Work Programme. As part of the Programme, a national project will be launched to improve occupational safety in the rescue sector. 2024−2026 Improve the rescue sector's ability to attract and retain employees, and investigate the current state of occupational safety and wellbeing at work, development needs and measures.
Individual emergency planning for emergency conditions – Project to create guidelines The project was launched in March 2024. The work should be ready by the end of 2025. Draw up, in extensive cooperation with stakeholders, guidelines for emergency plans and for the deployment, use, maintenance and inspections of civil defence shelters.
Strengthen civil defence 2024−2028 Strengthening preparedness for civil defence and strengthening the guidance and planning of preparedness of rescue services. Reforming the regulation of preparedness for civil defence and the organisation of civil defence work
Supporting individual emergency planning in incident and accident prevention through guidance, counselling and safety communications 2024- Strengthen individual emergency planning in all population groups.
Appointment of an advisory board on civil preparedness 2024-2027 The advisory board monitors the effects of changes on the activities of rescue service authorities and organisations in the sector. In addition, the advisory board monitors the preparedness of rescue services for international tasks and takes initiatives for the development of rescue services.