Preparedness for mass gatherings: rescue and emergency medical services' workloads during mass gathering events

Anssi Koski, Jukka Pappinen, Anne Kouvonen, Hilla Nordquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Downloads (Pure)


Mass gathering (MG) events may cause delayed emergency responses via various mechanisms and strain the resources of local emergency services. Therefore, preparedness, including adequate pre-planning and sufficient resourcing during MG events, is vital. The aim of this retrospective register study was to investigate the impact of MG events on the workload of rescue and emergency medical service (EMS) personnel during events to enable more precise and sufficient deployment of these authorities’ operative resources.

The data from Finland covered of 25,124 EMS and rescue service missions during a three-year period (2015–2017), including data from nine MG events and reference material for the same weekdays two weeks before and after the event. The data were analysed through statistical and geospatial analyses.

Our findings showed that missions increased in most events included in this study. Analysis of the missions’ reasons showed that the categories of violence, traffic accidents and other accidents and injuries increased during events, with violence-related missions showing the highest relative risk (RR 1.87, 95% CI 1.43–2.44). In the four-grade (A–D) urgency grading, the analysis showed an increase in category C missions and a decrease in non-urgent category D missions. The analysis indicated an increase in missions during the evening and night-time. The geospatial analysis revealed dense hotspots of missions in the vicinity of the event area.

The workload for EMS and rescue service personnel increases during MG events. Most of the increase is allocated to EMS staff, peaking in evening and night hours. The geospatial analysis showed hotspots of missions on the outskirts of the actual event area during events; thus, the workload can also increase for those authority resources that are not directly allocated to the event. Detailed information regarding workloads is valuable for the authorities that are responsible for resource planning and preparedness for MG events. Replicating the study internationally would improve the methodology for the future.
Original languageEnglish
Article number15
JournalScandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 05 Mar 2022


  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Preparedness
  • Mass Gatherings
  • Rescue Service
  • Event Organizers
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Accidents, Traffic
  • Workload


Dive into the research topics of 'Preparedness for mass gatherings: rescue and emergency medical services' workloads during mass gathering events'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this