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Voluntary activities are important for society

NGOs, associations and communities play a highly important role in preparedness for accidents and incidents. They provide services and coordinate activities that support the authorities and, for example, maintain special skills as part of preparedness activities.

Contract fire brigades

Contract fire brigades have an important role in the rescue services system. Under contracts made with the rescue services, they participate in fire-fighting, rescue missions and tasks related to accident prevention providing the reserve needed in emergencies and situations requiring civil defence.
Contract fire brigades carry out rescue missions across some 90% of Finland’s surface area. Around 46% of Finns live in this area. In other areas (the largest cities), contract fire brigades primarily support full-time fire brigades and provide a reserve resource in case of extensive or simultaneous situations. Contract fire brigade crews participate in approximately 60% of the annual rescue service emergency missions.

In the Voluntary Rescue Service, everyone is welcome.
Come and join us!

Voluntary Rescue Service (VAPEPA)

The Voluntary Rescue Service is a network of 53 NGOs whose emergency teams support the authorities in the event of accidents and other crisis situations. The Voluntary Rescue Service is usually alerted to help search for a missing person, but volunteers are also needed to provide mental support, guide traffic and help with evacuations.
As the member organisations combine their forces, each organisation’s expertise can be drawn on in emergencies to help people in distress.

Finnish Lifeboat Institution

The Finnish Lifeboat Institution has assisted boaters for over 120 years. Its main task is to help those in distress at sea. The organisation also works to improve general boating safety by sharing information and striving to influence attitudes as well as participates in the prevention of environmental damage.

Finnish Air Rescue Society

The Finnish Air Rescue Society SLPS engages in safe and high-quality search and surveillance flight operations on a voluntary basis and in cooperation with the authorities and other voluntary organisations.

Finnish Association of Fire Officers

One of the Finnish Association of Fire Officers’ key goals is promoting the safety of society and improving the professional competence of the Association’s members. The voluntary fire brigade division aims to promote, develop and deliver continuing training for volunteer fire officers in fire brigades. The division also promotes the cooperation networks of voluntary fire brigades and the networking of volunteer fire officers. Cooperation with other divisions of the Association and other organisations in the sector is also important (Federation of Finnish Contract Fire Brigades, Finnish National Rescue Association).

Finnish National Rescue Association

The Finnish National Rescue Association (SPEK) is a non-profit and independent expert organisation of safety which produces information by means of research projects, develops the safety of housing and everyday life, provides training and exerts influence. SPEK develops fire brigade activities by creating preconditions for the vitality and continuity of local voluntary activities. The organisation also improves volunteers’ capabilities to provide assistance with the aim of strengthening Finland's internal security, monitors the situation of voluntary activities and develops qualitative indicators.

Finnish Search and Rescue Dog Association

The Finnish Search and Rescue Dog Association is the umbrella organisation of associations engaged in search and rescue dog activities. The association develops search and rescue dog work together with the fire and rescue authorities, the police and other rescue sector organisations.

The Finnish Service Dog Association

The Finnish Service Dog Association is the central organization for service dog operations in Finland, which co-operates with other dog organizations and the authorities that use dogs. The members of the Service Dog Association are dog associations and breed organizations engaged in service dog activities.

National Defence Training Association of Finland MPK  

The National Defence Training Association MPK provides training associated with comprehensive security. In this field, it has the most extensive coverage in the country. MPK trains citizens to cope better with everyday disturbances and in emergency conditions.
MPK, a strategic partner of the Defence Forces, works together with authorities and NGOs in the field of comprehensive security.

More information:

Rescue sector organisations
Search for a fire brigade
Services provided by the Finnish National Rescue Association to fire brigade members
Come and volunteer