Mikko Saastamoinen, Firefighter of the Year in Finland 2020. Photo: Rescue information
17 Dec 2020

Mikko Saastamoinen awarded "Firefighter of the Year 2020" in Finland for his work on implementing the CTIF-ISO 17840 standard


Mikko Saastamoinen of the South Karelian Rescue Department has been awarded Firefighter of the Year 2020 in Finland. A big part of the motivation for the award is his efforts to launch the implementation of the new CTIF - ISO 17840  standard for vehicle rescue in Finland.

Finland was first among the Nordic countries to implement the new ISO 17840 standard, as CTIF News wrote about on October 14, 2020 , after Belgium and France who were the two countries that took the initiative to the new standard and eventually realized it through CTIF and ISO. 

Miikko represents Finland in the CTIF Commission for Extrication & New Technologies since 2015.

Mikko Saastamoinen, Firefighter of the Year in Finland 2020

Mikko Saastamoinen, Firefighter of the Year in Finland 2020

Mikko Saastamoinen has a passion for cars - not just from the point of view of driving, but primarily from the point of view of rescue & extrication. The special expertise of the South Karelian Rescue Department is road rescue and new car technologies, a subject in which he is a recognized trainer, both at home and abroad. 

His goal is for road rescue in Finland to remain at a high international level.

Mikko Saastamoinen's merits in road traffic rescue are internationally recognized. His personal inquiry into the subject began just over ten years ago when he visited Sweden for a heavy equipment rescue course.

Since then, international projects have taken him on numerous trips abroad; to Germany, the Netherlands, France and Portugal to mention a few. Initially he was interested in learning and training, however over time, he has become a sought after instructor and lecturer.

He has also been responsible for developing unique special tactics for rescue on race cars.


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A Firefighter of the Year Award is a recognition of exemplary activity in Finland. It can be awarded for the performance of a rescue mission that deserves special recognition, or any other act that raises the esteem of the rescue industry, rescue services, or fire departments. 

The selection is made annually by a committee consisting of a representative from the Finnish Central Rescue Services Association (SPEK), the Finnish Fire Officers' Association (SPPL), the Association of Public and Welfare Sectors (JHL) and the Association of Finnish Contract Firefighters (SSPL).

 A Firefighter of the Year has been elected every year in Finland since 1982.