A network that saves human lives

The Voluntary Rescue Service (Vapepa) is a network of  over 50 organisations whose emergency teams support the authorities when accidents or other crises occur. In most cases, Vapepa is called in to search for a missing person, but volunteers are also needed to provide emotional support, control traffic, or assist with evacuations. Our helpers operate on the ground, in water areas, or up in the air.

The Vapepa organisations work together so that the competencies of each organisation can be utilised in an emergency to aid the person in need. During an emergency, Vapepa leads its respective operations.

A union of organisations, open for everyone

Everyone who wants to help in a practical manner is welcome to join Vapepa. The Vapepa member organisations organise training for all volunteers. The organisations also supply their respective volunteers. Vapepa, established in 1964, has approximately 12,000 volunteers working in over 1000 emergency teams.

The Finnish Red Cross is the main co-ordinating organisation for Vapepa and it co-ordinates the operations of the network related to general rescue service. The Finnish Lifeboat Institution coordinates the voluntary maritime rescue operations and The Finnish Air Rescue Society coordinates the voluntary air rescue operations.

Preparedness organisations

Swedish Martha Association in Finland


Suomen Tiepalvelumiesliitto (Finnish Association for Road Service Workers)

Members supporting the activities