An Overview of the Emergency Services Academy Finland
The Emergency Services Academy Finland (formerly known as the Emergency Services College) provides vocational training to supply labour for the rescue services and emergency response centres. In addition, it provides preparedness training for disturbances in normal conditions and emergency conditions as well as training for international civil protection tasks. The Emergency Services Academy Finland is supervised by the Finnish Ministry of the Interior.
The Emergency Services Academy Finland is involved in the research and development functions in the field. It is also responsible for maintaining the assignment register of the rescue services (PRONTO) and the central library of the rescue field.
Approximately 400-500 students study at The Emergency Services Academy Finland yearly. The amount of students varies from time to time as a part of the studies may be distance studies. About 15 % of the students are women. The accommodation and the meals are free of charge for the students.
Most of the theoretical training is conducted at the college facilities which are located in Petonen, a suburb 10 km south of Kuopio. There are most of the class rooms, simulators, work rooms as well as the dormitory, Course Hotel, equipment hall, canteen and the sports hall and gym. The training ground, which is especially designed for emergency training, is located 10 km away from the campus in Korvaharju.
The Training Ground
Most of the practical training is conducted on the 38-hectar-wide training ground. There are different kinds of training fields, special-purpose buildings and class rooms there. The students train in conditions as close as possible to real emergencies, for example, to extinguish various kinds of fires, to carry out rescue assignments, prevent chemical accidents, driving emergency vehicles as well as giving first aid to injured and ill patients. The training ground is also used for joint disaster exercises of the authorities.
The training ground has been designed to minimize the effects on the environment. It can also be used by organisations arranging safety training.
Members of Staff
The Emergency Services Academy Finland employs 120 employees and about 70 % of them are teachers. The amount of women is approximately 25 %. Among our employees there are specialists in risk management, emergency medical care, emergency response centre operations and civil defence work. The employees are encouraged to professional development and especially to develop competence in international interaction.
The systematic training of fire officers in the rescue field started on 26 March 1935, when the Fire Officers’ School was founded in Helsinki. At first, the fire brigade organisations were responsible for the training, but then the state took over and the State Fire School was established in Espoo in 1958.
The training of fire fighters started in 1969 and the first fire foreman class graduated in 1972. The educational tasks expanded to comprise also civil defence training when the Training Centre of Emergency Administration was established in 1979. The field of emergency training expanded further in 1981 as the training of dispatchers of the district alarm centres started.
Here in Kuopio the training started in 1992 as the State Emergency College. Then the State Rescue College, which was responsible for the training of fire fighters and sub-officers, and the State Emergency College, which was responsible for the training of fire officers and civil defence subjects, were merged and the Emergency Services College started in 1995. The College changed the translation of its English name to Emergency Services Academy Finland in 2019.