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Work with a risk of falling

We rescue people from heights or shafts and trenches with bucket trucks and various rope techniques. Work with a risk of falling includes roof work, working and moving on a rope, lifting and lowering of a person, working with a boom, platform or ladder truck and working on a ladder.
The lifting height of our lifting platform units in continuous preparedness reaches more than sixty metres. All rescue units have the basic equipment and know-how for working in a hazardous area.
There is a lot of high-rise construction and structures in Helsinki, so we pay good attention to working at heights. We have good operational readiness for hazardous work, and our goal is to ensure both safe work and patient safety in hazardous areas.

Road traffic

In Helsinki, road traffic accidents are minor, but they cause the majority of serious personal injuries recorded in the duties of rescue services.
Traffic accident alarms often require both rescue personnel and emergency medical units and expertise. All of our rescue units have the basic equipment needed in road traffic accidents, in addition to which our heavy rescue unit located at the Central Rescue Station has special equipment for rescue missions required in road traffic accidents.

Rail traffic

We are prepared and well-equipped for rail traffic accidents, as Helsinki uses all forms of rail transport: metro, trains and trams.
The heavy rescue unit located at the Central Rescue Station is equipped with grounding equipment for contact wires and lifting equipment for railway carriages. We also have the cooperation authorities’ clearing units and heavier lifting equipment at our disposal. All rescue units of the Rescue Department are equipped with hydraulic tools and emergency grounding equipment for the metro. Rescuers who have received a grounding permit are qualified to perform emergency grounding to ensure that the work area is de-energised in the event of an accident.

Damage prevention

Damage prevention tasks can be caused by storms, heavy rainfall and other extreme weather phenomena, as well as leakages of hazardous substances. The Rescue Department is also kept busy by fallen trees, loose roofing sheets and water damage, among other things. For oil spills on land, the Rescue Department has a rescue vehicle designed for oil spill response.

Urban search and rescue

Urban search and rescue is a very demanding and long-term rescue operation in challenging situations where people, animals and property are rescued from the depths of collapsing structures. We have made urban search and rescue one of the central aspects of rescue operations in order to prepare for the threats that the capital of Finland may face in the future.

The Rescue Department has a rescue team that is specially trained for urban search and rescue and has the necessary special equipment. Our heavy rescue unit and the associated rescue container have special equipment that can support and penetrate various structures and lift and move heavy objects.

Many of our rescuers in urban search and rescue are active in EU and UN disaster relief organisations and have been involved in rescue missions in areas affected by earthquakes, for example.

We also have at our disposal dogs and instructors trained for urban search and rescue by Helsinki Search and Rescue Dogs (HePeKo) that can be alerted to support rescue operations even in demanding conditions. Rescue dog preparedness is maintained in the form of an emergency team, and HePeKo maintains the City of Helsinki’s rescue dog formation for crisis conditions. At the request of the authorities, the emergency team’s assistant instructors, dog handlers, dogs and group leaders help not only in rescue operations but also in the search for missing persons.

CBRNE operations

In accidents involving dangerous substances, people and property are rescued by our specially trained CBRNE unit, which operates at the Konala rescue station.
CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive) events include both accidental and intentional incidents involving chemicals, biological pathogens, radioactive substances, nuclear weapons or explosives. CBRNE events may concern, for example, the transport, use, possession or storage of dangerous substances.

Protective equipment used in accidents involving dangerous substances and their prevention are available in all rescue units. In case of accidents involving medium and large hazardous substances, the Rescue Department has a separate chemical protection unit and a personal cleaning unit. We also have quickly erecting cleaning line tents where those who have been exposed to dangerous substances can be cleaned.

Approximately 30–50 accidents involving hazardous substances occur in the Helsinki rescue services area annually. However, major accidents involving dangerous substances are rare.