What we do :

CERN Fire and Rescue service provides emergency support and assistance to the CERN community and our Host States (France and Switzerland) when requested.

The service’s primary responsibility is to respond to emergency situations within CERN’s perimeter to:

  1. Protect people and save lives.
  2. Protect the environment.
  3. Protect buildings and installations.
  4. Protect the continuity of CERN's operations.

Alongside reactive emergency response, we are also responsible for active prevention and planning. Preparedness comes in the form of training, equipment and procedures both for members of the CFRS and the wider CERN community.

How do we work?

We work in 4 teams with the support of 6 officers to cover 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. At any moment we should be a minimum of 9 on shift;

  • 4 in the Fire Engine (1 Watch manager plus 3 Firefighters)
  • 2 in the Ambulance (at least 1 qualified to "Technicien Ambulancier" level)
  • 2 in the Safety Control Room
  • 1 on duty Fire officer

This staffing level is supplemented by 2 Firefighters and a second Fire Officer on standby (piquet) during nights, weekends, and holidays.

During working hours Monday to Friday we also aim to provide 2 firefighters to be stationed at Point 5 of the LHC (the furthest CERN point from the fire station).

What kind of interventions do we handle?

CFRS responds to all the emergency calls that you would expect from a modern fire and rescue service: Fires, road accidents, medical emergencies, Person rescue, and chemical / environmental interventions.

More technical interventions include those related to cryogenic, radiation, high tension electrical, and rope rescue.

The CFRS also provides assistance in non emergency situations such as vehicle breakdowns, confined space work, dealing with animals including removal of wasps/bees nests or rescue of trapped animals, etc.

The above lists are not exhaustive, and you can find almost every type of intervention here at CERN.

On a day-to-day basis, alongside interventions and training we are also responsible for the maintenance of fire extinguishers and fire hoses throughout the site. Although this is a repetitive task it is an important part of our prevention and an effective way to learn the topography of the CERN site.

How to report during an emergency

For any emergencies on site, CERN Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) will be the first to respond. We operate a Safety Control Room (SCR) that receives emergency calls 24 hours a day. The calls are received from either people calling our dedicated emergency line (+41 22 767 4444 or 74444 from a CERN phone) or from automated detection systems. The SCR is the first point of contact in an emergency and the caller will be asked to provide essential pieces of information such as:

  • Name/CERN ID
  • Location
  • What is the situation?

This enables our call handlers to dispatch the correct resources. Depending on the information received, we will send our fire appliance and / or ambulance to deal with the incident. We also have a wide range of specialized equipment that we can also send.

Remember, if you have an emergency please call us on:

Tel. +41 22 767 4444 (74444 from a CERN phone)

If your request in non-emergency the please raise a SNOW ticket or call us on

Tel. +41 22 767 4848