CERN firefighters have got your back covered

There’s not much room in the centre of a detector. Ensuring the safety of technicians who have to work on components close to the collision point is an absolute priority. With this firmly in mind, the Fire Brigade has recently acquired a back immobilisation device known as a spine splint.


CERN firefighters show off their new spine splint.

Conscious of the potential safety hazards for personnel working on ALICE’s inner detectors, the collaboration’s GLIMOS, Fernando Pedrosa, asked the Fire Brigade to organise an exercise in March to simulate the emergency evacuation of a person from the centre of the detector.

Despite the exceptionally limited space available in the centre of ALICE, the Fire Brigade successfully met the challenge. However, although specially designed for emergency evacuations, the cumbersome dimensions of the stretcher used in this first exercise caused many problems.  

Following the exercise, the Fire Brigade therefore investigated alternative solutions and came up with the idea of a spine splint, which they have now acquired. The splint’s polycarbonate back plate allows it to slide over all types of surface. In addition the splint is fitted with an anchor point so that the person in difficulty can be winched out.

The new equipment was delivered in November and the firemen are currently attending a training course on how to use it. The initial tests have already proved very promising.

by The Fire Brigade