Training of RescEU emergency stockpile experts begins
The training for experts in the use of the equipment and materials of the EU’s common emergency stockpile facilities located in Finland starts at the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority. After the training of the first group, the materials and experts are ready to go within at least two days after the request for help has been received.
The EU emergency stockpiles known as rescEU stockpiles located in Finland are intended for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats and are ready for use. The first items stockpiled are protective equipment for first responders, such as coveralls and face masks, as well as various detectors and measuring devices. Stocks are constantly being replenished.
The stockpiled materials can now be shipped upon request by the EU Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) to locations needing assistance.
If any CBRN equipment stored in Finland is needed, the equipment sent from Finland will be accompanied by experts who will help the rescue and health care professionals in the target country to receive the equipment and learn how to use it.
The first experts will start training this week. The project and the training will be carried out by the Emergency Services Academy Finland in co-operation with a project consortium created by the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, the National Emergency Supply Agency and the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority.
On 30 and 31 January, 12 professionals in the field of rescue services and social and health care will participate in a training session held on the premises of the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority in Jokiniemi, Vantaa. After the training, they will form the CBRN first response group of the Finnish rescEU stockpile project. The group members will already be ready to travel to an assisted country this spring.
One of the participants in this week’s training is paramedic Nina Ruuhivirta from the Central Uusimaa Rescue Department. She already has experience of civil protection tasks abroad.
"I am a member of the Finn Rescue Team (FRT), an international Finnish rescue formation maintained by the Emergency Services Academy, and I have previously worked as an EU expert in Moldova and Poland," says Nina Ruuhivirta.
She is also highly motivated to participate in the rescEU project. “This will increase my own CBRN skills and it is important to get a comprehensive orientation to this new task. At the same time, we trainees help to improve Finland's preparedness for demanding CBRN situations.”
During a RescEU operation, the participating experts will be employed by the Emergency Services Academy.
Finland will train a total of 66 experts as instructors for the items to be stored in the rescEU emergency stockpiles. This year training will be organised for 30 people and next year for 36 people.
The RescEU emergency stockpiles are part of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and are located in several EU Member States. Finland has two emergency stockpiles. The first stockpile project, intended for CBRN situations, started at the beginning of 2023. January 2024 saw the launch of a project addressing various health threats, focusing in particular on stockpiling medical materials and medicines. The EU is funding Finland’s stockpile programme with a total of EUR 305 million.
The programme will last until the end of 2026. The national competent authority for the EU Civil Protection Mechanism in Finland is the Ministry of the Interior.
More information and interview requests:
STUK Media service, tel. 010 850 4761
Project manager Tarja Rantala, rescEU CBRN storage project, Ministry of the Interior, rescue department 0295 488 372/ 046 920 8635; [email protected]