Monday, 18 February, 2019

Nordic public safety network to boost rescue cooperation

08 Feb 2019, 02:37 ( 10 days ago) | updated: 08 Feb 2019, 02:39 ( 10 days ago)

DF Report
Photo Source: Ministry of Interior.

In the future, Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian public safety networks will function seamlessly outside the country borders.

This will facilitate communications between the Nordic rescue authorities in accidents and emergencies, said an official press release.

Finland’s Authority Radio Network VIRVE and the Swedish equivalent Rakel officially combined on Thursday.

Before this, the public safety networks of Finland and Norway had been combined, as had those of Sweden and Norway.

The benefits of having access to a joint network are clear in the daily cooperation in the border region, for instance when assistance needs to be requested from the neighbouring country.

In the past, authorities were only able to communicate in the public safety network in the immediate vicinity of the border, but from now on, access to the Finnish VIRVE network will be available everywhere in Sweden and Norway.

"Having a common public safety network will benefit all Nordic security authorities. It will be particularly helpful for the police, rescue services and ambulance services in the performance of their daily duties in normal conditions, as well as in the case of a serious accident. This is a significant improvement in the Nordic rescue cooperation," said Minister of the Interior Kai Mykkänen.

"Rescue assistance provided to Sweden to combat the forest fires last summer proved that there is a clear need for Nordic critical communications in situations where assistance is provided between the Nordic countries. Fortunately we had launched the process of combining our networks earlier," said Janne Koivukoski, Deputy Director General for Rescue Services.

Finland has been leading the way in the development of public safety communications, as evidenced by the fact that Finland has ranked number one in an international mission-critical communications comparison in the past two years. Finland launched a pilot project for an advanced digital radio network for the public authorities twenty years ago. Since then, the authorities have been able to use the VIRVE network for mission-critical communications.