The second round of the pilot helped the Finnish stakeholders to identify the main channels and methods to engage citizens. The purpose of engaging citizens is part of the Finnish policy on forest fires, focusing on raising awareness of risks and improving communication to citizens. The Kainuu Rescue departent is utilizing various live events, social media channels, and educational campaigns to teach citizens risks and raise awareness of common causes of fires.
Evacuation center introductions are a region-wide project where citizens are invited to participate and learn how evacuation centers are organization in their municipality. The event proved an opportunity to demonstrate civil security services, provide educational materials, teach first aid, and equally important, allow civil security services to collect feedback from citizens on the approach, their policies, and open comments. In addition, public events in towns and cities are organised or joined by civil security services, allowing them to present their work and collect feedback from citizens in the same manner.
In addition to participating to events, the rescue department organises four sessions through which school age children are introduced to risks and educated on prevention and mitigation. The program is organised for four age groups, with age suitable contents. The first one i for kindergarten-age children and the last one during high-school. The rescue department has through these events gauged what the current risk awareness is and modifies the contents to better suit the learning needs.
The reception to the activities has been positive and the team continues to work with citizens to improve the teaching, and gather insights for the policy development. The programs continue and are reviewed annually to update and improve the forest fire prevention policy.