Finding faults at Operator Day’s in Finland

Operator Days in Finland

There was clearly demand for the additional training event organized by Finnish Rescue Association (SPEK) and Bronto Skylift Oy in May. Experiences were exchanged, new information was shared and participants got to network with each other.

“There has been discussions about the need for this kind of a training course for a long time. At the safety trade fair, we got to talking about how it would be a good idea to share information and network. Bronto Skylift warmed to the idea and they have great training possibilities.”

Mika Mäkelä from the Finnish National Rescue Association

“The training had three key purposes. The first one was to offer users information on how to manage atypical situations. The second was to gather information on how to develop our products and services. The third was to create a forum where information and experiences can be exchanged.”

Jouni Haapaniemi, Product Support Manager at Bronto Skylift Oy

Know your  platform

According to Firefighter Kari Sallinen from Keski-Uusimaa Rescue Department maintaining skills requires practice, close familiarity with one’s own platform and plenty of personal interest.

“The technology included in aerial platforms is interesting and challenging. I am motivated to learn new things and share the knowledge that I gain at work. This training provided new information about fault conditions, fault codes and ways to resolve them. It was great to go over our personal assignments and to meet colleagues from all over Finland.”

Firefighter Kari Sallinen from Keski-Uusimaa Rescue Department

In his view, challenges related to rescue operations include changing seasonal conditions, safe transport to the target destination, positioning and preparation of equipment in the dark and freezing weather and slippery road conditions. Autumn storms, visibility during rescue missions, dangerous combustion gasses and visibility in general also cause issues. The safety of colleagues of the person working on the hydraulic platform as well as any power lines in the vicinity should also be taken into account. The work also includes assisting paramedics, ensuring their safety and lifting and bringing down patients.


Senior firefighter Harri Koski from Central Finland Rescue Department first worked with an “articulated boom” back in the day and now has 20 years of experience working with modern equipment.

“Hydraulic platform training is a long process. The training course was a great way to revise, learn about new equipment and gain confidence in that I have been teaching the right things as a person responsible for overseeing operations. Bronto’s staff is very competent and the training course was well-executed. It is great to see what you can learn from the ways others work.”

Senior firefighter Harri Koski from Central Finland Rescue Department

Platform operators are the minority, even at rescue departments

According to Mika Mäkelä, people working with hydraulic platforms need to have special skills and are a marginally small group even at rescue departments. It is not possible for everyone to do everything and at the same time maintain high-quality professionalism in every sector.

“The two-day training course was aimed at experienced users of aerial platforms. The emphasis was in fault identification, detection and resolving. The training also included an assignment where participants talked about fault conditions they had encountered at work.”

Mika Mäkelä from the Finnish National Rescue Association

The feedback received was very flattering and included statements such as “the teachers were extremely competent and experienced and, best of all, they were able to present things in an understandable manner”, “equipment keeps developing, and requirements keep growing. There will always be new things to learn.”. Mika Mäkelä suspected that they could easily fill another 20 person course with the same concept.

Translated from an article written by Kimmo Kaisto, Pelastustieto 4-5/2019

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