Rescue and emergency services departments
The area of Uusimaa is served by four rescue and emergency services departments. The departments follow the principle of the closest unit, according to which emergency response is provided by the closest department irrespective of municipal borders.
The Helsinki City Rescue Department executes rescue operations in the area of the city of Helsinki.
The Länsi-Uusimaa Rescue Department (Western Uusimaa Rescue Department) executes rescue operations in the area of 10 municipalities: Espoo, Hanko, Inkoo, Karkkila, Kauniainen, Kirkkonummi, Lohja, Raasepori, Siuntio and Vihti. In addition, the department provides urgent first response services in Espoo, Kauniainen, Kirkkonummi, Hanko, Inkoo and Raasepori.
The Keski-Uusimaa Rescue Department (Central Uusimaa Rescue Department) operates in the area of Hyvinkää, Järvenpää, Kerava, Mäntsälä, Nurmijärvi, Pornainen, Tuusula and Vantaa.
The Eastern Uusimaa Emergency Services Department operates in the area of Porvoo, Sipoo, Loviisa–Lapinjärvi, Askola and Myrskylä–Pukkila.
Service level regulation
The service level of a rescue and emergency services department is defined in a service level regulation. The regulation is valid for a set period of time. A department’s preparedness, equipment, skills and human resources are defined for various emergency risks.
According to the Rescue Act, rescue and emergency services departments are responsible for the following:
• Rescue-related guidance, education and information aimed at the prevention of fires and other emergencies, preparedness for emergency prevention, and appropriate action in emergencies and risk situations and in controlling the consequences of emergencies
• Oversight of the rescue function
• Warning of citizens in emergencies and risk situations and the necessary alarm system
• Tasks related to rescue operations
In addition, rescue and emergency services departments can:
• execute tasks related to first response services in the event that the provision of first response services has been agreed upon between the rescue function and the local hospital district on the basis of the Health Care Act (1326/2010), Section 29, Subsection 2;
• support the preparedness planning of a municipality in the department’s area of responsibility in the event that this has been agreed upon with the municipality;
• execute oil spill control and other tasks defined for the area’s rescue function.
According to law, voluntary organizations and volunteers can be used to provide rescue training, information and education as well as to participate in rescue operations. However, volunteers cannot be used in tasks involving execution of significant government authority.