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Emergency Services College

The Emergency Services College is supervised by the Ministry of the Interior and the College provides vocational training to supply labour for the rescue services and emergency response centres. In addition, the College provides preparedness training for disturbances in normal conditions and emergency conditions as well as for international civil crisis management tasks.

The Emergency Services College is involved in the research and development functions in the field. The College is also responsible for maintaining the assignment register of the rescue services (PRONTO) and the central library of the rescue field.


The Emergency Services College provides training aiming at vocational qualification in the following training programmes:

  • Fire Fighter
  • Emergency Response Centre Operator
  • Sub-Officer
  • Fire Officer, Bachelor of Engineering

The Fire Officer's Training Programme is arranged in cooperation with Savonia University of Applied Sciences.

The purpose to conduct in-service training for the personnel in the rescue services and emergency response centres is to ensure that these organisations have access to the best possible knowledge and skills to maintain the standard of the services they provide. We arrange further education also for people employed in business life.

Further, the Emergency Services College is the leading provider of preparedness training for the authorities in our country. Our customers are ministries, central government offices, provincial offices and municipalities among others.

We also provide training for persons who are going abroad to work with international task concerning rescue services and civil crisis management.


Approximately 400-500 students study at the Emergency Services College. 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 College in Korvaharju.

Classroom/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 College employs 100 employees and about 70% of them are teachers. The amount of women is approximately 25 %. Among our employees there are specialists in 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.


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 present Emergency Services College started in 1995.

Savonia UAS

Savonia is one of Finland's biggest and most versatile universities of applied sciences. Our campuses are situated in Kuopio, Iisalmi and Varkaus. There are almost 6000 students and 600 employees at Savonia. In education we implement Open Innovation Space (OIS), where we combine learning, development, research, and teaching.