Midsummer stories: what do the Finns call emergency services for?

Oulu, central Finland. Everyone is preparing for the most fun time of the year. Midsummer!

Or Juhannus. It is also the birthday of Saint John the Baptist. It is actually on the 24th of June but yeah, no worries, it’s a long weekend anyway.

Finland is coming to a standstill (after yesterday’s long traffic jams when people fled to their hometowns, summer cottages or favourite holiday places within Finland).

But not everyone is going to have much fun. Emergency services are always on. To protect people and take care of them, when in need. Well, almost. As you may know, 112 is the Finnish (pan-European too) emergency number.

And not all calls received are emergency. Especially during Midsummer Eve and the weekend ahead. Some are hoaxes and some are, ahem, how to say, bizarre. According to a tabloid newspaper, Ilta Sanomat, the Finnish emergency services receive more than 350.000 (!) calls that are not quite emergency.

This led the Oulu emergency team to post a list of some of the cases that are NOT an emergency. Or what people should NOT call 112 for.

Midsummer madness! Check out the list below.

Top-10 most bizarre emergency calls in Finland

Some of them are um, understandable, but some are really weird.

– You have a toothache. It’s cruel but the police can’t do much.

– Your phone or someone else’s phone has gone missing. Are there not still landline phones?

– You need a ride somewhere. Call a cab but hey, you can’t find one in the Finnish forests!

– You need someone’s phone number. Police are not the name catalogue service.

– A dead animal is floating on the river. That sounds serious but yeah, Finnish nature will take care of it.

– You have relationship problems. Finns are known to be not very talkative but in these cases, it really helps.

You have left your car keys inside your car and the doors are locked. Ouch!

– You just want to know if there have been many emergency calls that day. Just checking, right?

– You had a nightmare. Maybe it was just the aggressive Finnish mosquitoes attacking you.

– You or your loved ones are NOT in danger! Good to know but you don’t have to make a distress call for that.

No excuses! Or are there any?

Booze consumption is on the rise during the Juhannus celebrations, in Finland.

Do you know that it is only sold in the ALKO stores? They are the alcohol state monopoly in Finland. You can’t buy alcohol in the supermarket. Kiosks too. Only some very low alcoholic drinks, for example, light beers and the like.

The Nordics have a long history with alcohol so all the Nordic countries have state-owned stores to sell booze. Oh, Denmark is not one of them. Alcohol is sold everywhere!

Back to Finland, they found out that in 2019, the sales of alcoholic drinks during the week preceding to Midsummer almost doubled compared to a normal summer week.

So, no wonder, these false emergency calls are to be made again! Stay safe (and sane)!

Image: Pia Inberg / Photo Agency Keksi