HUG sets up an emergency operations centre on the CERN site

Discussions between CERN and the Hôpitaux universitaires de Genève (HUG), under the aegis of the Swiss authorities, have resulted in the setting-up of an emergency operations centre on the CERN site. This will be the operations base for an emergency doctor, a medical emergency vehicle and a driver. Located on the Swiss part of the Meyrin site, close to Building 57, it will be inaugurated on 20 May.


SMUR team based at CERN.

CERN’s medical staff and fire-fighters dispense first aid but in medical emergencies they are obliged to call on outside services to treat and transfer patients to hospital. In the Canton of Geneva, this service is provided by HUG via the 144 emergency line.

But HUG is based on the eastern side of Geneva, a long way from CERN, and response times can be substantial. In order to improve the safety of the growing number of people on the site, CERN asked Switzerland, as one of its Host States, to help it reduce the medical emergency response times across the whole site. At the same time, HUG was looking for ways of enhancing its ability to handle medical emergencies on Geneva’s western flank.

As a result, CERN and HUG, with the support of the Swiss Confederation and the Canton of Geneva, have now signed a collaboration agreement providing for CERN to host an emergency operations centre run by HUG. An emergency doctor will be based here five days a week, initially 12 hours a day and subsequently 24 hours a day. An emergency vehicle fully equipped to respond to medical emergencies will be able to reach all parts of the CERN site quickly, including those in France, as well as the neighbouring areas. 

This agreement also provides for continuous training in emergency care for the staff of CERN's Medical Service and Fire Brigade who hail from different Member States and will henceforth be able to attain a common proficiency level in emergency care, in line with the applicable standards.

The centre, its staff and all the necessary equipment will be installed in suitable premises erected close to the Medical Service and the Fire Brigade on Route Einstein.

This collaboration between CERN and HUG will also contribute to the fruitful interaction between CERN’s medical staff and fire-fighters, who will continue to provide first aid, and HUG’s emergency team, which will manage the medical aspects of emergency situations in the interests of improving the safety of all the people working on the CERN site.

If you are at CERN, call 74444 in case of an emergency!


by Antonella Del Rosso