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Southwest Finland Emergency Services provides rescue and safety services to 27 municipalities in the westernmost part of mainland Finland. In addition, it provides emergency medical care services in the areas of five joint municipal authorities of health care. The operating area covers over 20 000 square kilometers from which approximately 50 percent are land areas, and it includes a large archipelago consisting of 22 000 islands.

Basic tasks include rescuing and protecting people, property, animals and the environment, in addition to preventing accidents and promoting a culture of safety. SWFES does continuous risk assessment from which the risks derived from the climate change are one essential part. SWFES also cooperates continuously with city planners regarding the climate change related issues.

SWFES is the Lead Partner of the CASCADE project and in charge of the project coordination. Additionally their specialists participate in different project activities e.g. communication and developing the training package.

Meet the SWFES’ project team: Torbjörn, Miikka and Maria!

Torbjörn Lindström – Project Director

I work as a Development Manager at the SWFES and in the CASCADE project my duties include mostly administrative tasks, meetings and workshops.

I hope that CASCADE will improve the capacity to understand and treat climate change related risks on the local level in the Baltic Sea Region. We really do need better knowledge and more transparent cooperation between all the actors − authorities, academic actors and volunteers on all levels.

Twitter: @thwlindstrom

(Photo by Esko Keski-Oja)

Miikka Toivonen – Project Coordinator

I’m a Planning Officer in our Development Unit − currently I’m working with three different EU funded projects. Working is smooth because we have a project team that has been working together for many years so we know each other well. My background is in the operative department where I have worked as a Firefighter and Fire Sub-Officer for several years. These days I work occasionally as on-call Executive Fire Officer.

CASCADE has been very interesting so far – especially because this is my first project concerning climate change. I have learned a lot during the project and my personal goal is to put the results into practice in our Emergency Services permanently. One obstacle in adaptation of climate change are the attitudes of national and local level decision makers in some cases. Commitment to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction is not on good level in some countries around the BSR. In CASCADE we’re trying to  affect on these attitudes.

Our project partners have worked effectively in the project and I hope that the results of CASCADE stay alive, and work for the climate change adaption continues, beyond our project.

Twitter: @toivonen_miikka

(Photo by Maria Nykyri)

Maria Nykyri – Communication Specialist

I’m a communication professional who was supposed to become a journalist but become interested in the communication of authorities somewhere down the road. I worked with SWFES’ external communication for several years and last year I started working as a communication specialist in our international and national projects full time. In CASCADE I take care of internal communication but also participate in dissemination of the project activities and outputs. I enjoy working in international projects because you get to meet so many innovative experts from around the world and change ideas.

CASCADE is a very current project that has a lot of potential transnationally. Climate change related disaster risks are something that no country can close their eyes from. I’m most eager for local impacts of the project outputs. For an example the training material produced in CASCADE will be tailor made for local authorities and I’m hoping it will be very beneficial for SWFES as well as for the other Emergency Services around the Baltic Sea.

Twitter: @mnykyri

(Photo by Esko Keski-Oja)


Text by Maria Nykyri, Miikka Toivonen & Torbjörn Lindström

This was the first article of the series “Introducing CASCADE Project Partners”. During the next weeks and months CASCADE introduces all the Project Partners and their visions here on the CASCADE website.

Maria Nykyri, Torbjörn Lindström and Miikka Toivonen