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Finland has sent experts in international civil protection to Cuba

Ministry of the Interior
Publication date 31.10.2022 15.31
Press release

Finland has sent two international civil protection experts to Havana, Cuba, to support the training of local urban search and rescue personnel. Having identified a lack of expertise among Havana’s local authorities in conducting rescue from collapsed structures, Cuba requested international assistance to train urban search and rescue workers. The experts left Finland on Monday 31 October.

As Havana is located in a region where hurricanes occur regularly, it is likely that one will hit the area in the next few years. The European Union evaluation team, which visited the region in June, found the building stock to be old and in such a poor condition that the collapse of buildings is probable during a hurricane. 

A Technical Assistance and Support Team (TAST) was sent to Cuba under the Union Civil Protection Mechanism. According to a preliminary estimate, their mission will last just under three weeks. The employer of the posted experts is the Emergency Services Academy Finland.

Finland is an active provider of expert assistance

International civil protection operations refer to the provision of assistance to other countries and reception of assistance in Finland under international treaties and legislation. Such situations include natural or man-made disasters and incidents when the affected country lacks adequate response capacities. 

Finland participates in international civil protection operations through the European Union and international organisations, and in accordance with bilateral and multilateral international treaties.

The Ministry of the Interior decides on the provision of international assistance in the field of rescue services, that is civil protection. The Emergency Services Academy Finland is responsible for the training, recruitment and logistics of experts and the practical implementation of international civil protection operations.

Inquiries:

Jari Korpela, Head of Training, Pelastusopisto – Emergency Services Academy Finland, tel. +358 29 545 3480, jari.korpela@pelastusopisto.fi (operational details related to the mission and international civil protection operations)

Pekka Tiainen, Senior Specialist, Ministry of the Interior, tel. +358 50 456 4477, pekka.tiainen@govsec.fi (international civil protection operations)

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