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Based on the Health Care Act, the HUS Group is responsible for organising emergency medical services in its territory. Helsinki City Rescue Department provides emergency medical services in Helsinki, which is one of the seven operating areas of the hospital district. The duties of emergency medical services also include maintenance of the preparedness for disasters and preparing for emergency conditions.

For people with sudden illness or injury, help is called for using the emergency number 112. The Emergency Response Centre assesses the urgency of the situation and alerts emergency medical service. After arriving at a person in need of help, emergency medical service makes an assessment of the person’s situation, provides emergency medical service at the scene and, if necessary, transports the person to an emergency healthcare unit.

For people with sudden illness or injury, help is called for using the emergency number 112.

The personnel of Helsinki Rescue Department’s emergency medical service comprises approximately 75 full-time paramedics and more than 500 rescue paramedics, who have received training in both rescue and emergency medical services to meet the special needs of the capital city.

If necessary, our rescue units operate as part of the emergency medical service and carry out first response operations. If all our ambulances are on an assignment, we will send the closest rescue unit to the patient in need of help. This way, we can get help to the person who needs it more quickly and life-saving treatment can be started without delay.

Operational management of emergency medical services is the responsibility of the on-call emergency care physician. Our physician unit is sent to patients at high risk. In this unit, treatment is provided by an emergency care physician as well as paramedics. The on-call emergency care physician also supports the operations of the paramedics in the field through consultations and, together with the on-call field manager, leads the emergency medical service operations in the area. In special situations and disasters, the on-call emergency care physician acts as the medical team leader responsible for field operations.

Ambulances, fire trucks and auxiliary units that are ready for emergency medical service are located in the Rescue Department’s ten rescue stations on the mainland and also in Suomenlinna in the summer. For urgent tasks, the nearest ambulance is always alerted. In very high-risk duties, the nearest rescue unit with the same medical personnel and equipment as in ambulances is also alerted to the site.

Emergency medical services in Helsinki are prepared for disasters and multi-patient situations with instructions and annual drills. Our disaster equipment unit has medical supplies for about a hundred patients, and ambulances and fire trucks have patient classification supplies. In addition, we have quickly erected cleaning line tents for situations involving the threat of dangerous substances.