Plane crash exercise Oulu *

Country: Finland  •  Report published: December 29, 2015


Mr. Lasse Viljam Raatiniemi
Chief of Medicine for ground EMS at Oulu University Hospital, Division of Pre-Hospital Emergency Care

Role in incident: Author works as Chief of Medicine for ground EMS units in health care district and as HEMS doctor in FinnHEMS 50. The author did not directly participate in the excercise.

Summary: Plane crash exercise Oulu

The disaster exercise was organised on the coast of Oulu, the largest city in northern Finland with 196,382 inhabitants. There is a university hospital located in Oulu and it functions as a major trauma center for the entire northern part of Finland with about 750,000 inhabitants. The land area of the catchment area is about 50% of the land area in Finland. Oulu is known as a technology city and is also an important university city (Oulu University).
Oulu airport is located in Oulunsalo, about 15 kilometres from Oulu center. It is the second largest airport in Finland. The road-network is well-developed and the university hospital is easily accessed by ground ambulance. Hailuoto is the third largest island of Finland with a population about 1000 inhabitants. Hailuoto is accessed by ferry and transport from Hailuoto center to Oulu center (ferry and driving time by car) is about one hour. The organisation responsible for administration of pre-hospital emergency medical services is Oulu University hospital (Northern Ostrobothnia Health Care District). Emergency medical services are operated by Fire Brigades (urgent missions) and privatists (non-urgent missions). The physician-staffed helicopter emergency medical services are operated by FinnHEMS. The only HEMS unit, FinnHEMS 50, has its base in Oulu airport. EMS have four tiers: first responders (fire brigade), basic- and advanced level ambulances and FinnHEMS 50. Field commander on duty has the operational commando for EMS- units on daily basis. Field commanders have education as paramedics. Dispatch center has catchment area for the whole of the North of Finland. All 112 calls are answered by specially-educated operators, units are dispatched based on risk evaluation and operational procedures.

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