It's warm in Finland. It's holiday season. People like to swim. Vartti.fi reports that when people jump to water from places like the Lapinlahti bridge to cool themselves, and to fool around, someone calls 112, and the emergency services typically deploy the full set: a rescue unit, a heavy pioneer unit with diving gear, an ordinary ambulance, a doctor ambulance, a skylift, plus possibly boat units and a helicopter. In addition, a police patrol car arrives. As this procedure costs a whole lot of money, the emergency service chief Markku Rissanen plans to send invoices to the swimmers. The sums would be tens of thousands of euros per instance.
Fine, but… on what grounds? Jumping to the sea is not forbidden. Even suicides are no longer criminal in Finland. People who go to swim from such places are engaged in an activity which may be dangerous - and bystanders are entirely justified in reporting it to 112 - but what is the legal basis for making a bridge jump verboten? What is the basis for invoicing the rescue cost? Much of the things that emergency services handle are result from extraordinary stupidity and thoughtlessness, but so far, AFAIK, no invoices matcfhing the real cost are sent for ambulances or fire extinguishing if you fall asleep when smoking in your bed.
Wouldn't it be more logical to start by invoicing the rescue costs from actual, serious criminal activities? Like, if someone murders people, she should actually pay something to the victims, and compensate the cost of ambulances, police investigation etc to the state/authorities? If you were preparing for an armed robbery of a bank, and were intercepted, you could be invoiced for the cost of the Karhu squad being alerted.
Yeah, right: planning an armed robbery is not a crime until you really step into executing the plan, and courts have kept a high threshold for determining when a plan becomes an actual attempt. But at least possessing illegal firearms is a crime, so why wouldn't we start there? And yes, sending invoices only works as a deterrent when dealing with law-abiding middle class people who have homes and other property. The criminal underclass arranges things differently, so there is no hope of collecting anything.
In the meanwhile, perhaps the emergency services really should consider how much manpower and equipment is alerted to attend to each case of nutty behaviour.