HUG and CERN open an emergency response centre

Life at CERN
SMUR team based at CERN. (Image: CERN)


Geneva, 5 May 2015. On Monday, the Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève (HUG – University Hospitals of Geneva) and CERN1 opened an emergency response centre on the Swiss part of the CERN site. The centre is the result of a collaboration established under the auspices of the Swiss federal and Geneva cantonal authorities and aims to improve safety on the CERN sites and in the western part of the Canton of Geneva. Every day, around 9000 people are present on the CERN site.

The new mobile emergency and resuscitation unit (SMUR) has been operational since Monday morning. It is managed and staffed by HUG and comprises an emergency doctor and an ambulance driver, as well as an emergency vehicle. This SMUR team can be called out via the 144 emergency number in Switzerland. In the event of an emergency on one of the CERN sites or in the western part of the Canton of Geneva, HUG can now provide a much faster medical response. It is estimated that there are around four or five call-outs each day in this part of the Canton. Thanks to the new unit, response time will be reduced to around 3 minutes, compared to around 10 minutes previously.

“HUG is proud to have established this partnership with CERN, which will allow us to provide a better healthcare service on the site of this great laboratory, as well as a faster and more effective emergency response service for the whole population of the right bank of Geneva,” said Bertrand Levrat, Director-General of HUG.

The cost of operating the service will be covered by CERN and HUG. The cost of emergency call-outs will be covered by patients and their insurance providers.

“This collaboration will allow us to consolidate CERN’s links with Switzerland and the Canton of Geneva, and to contribute to local development in an area of mutual interest, two areas of great significance to CERN,” said Rolf Heuer, Director-General of CERN. “I am pleased with the result of this partnership with HUG, which will reinforce safety at CERN and in the region as a whole.”

This agreement is the latest in a long line of collaboration agreements between CERN and HUG. For example, the two organisations work together on the CERN-MEDICIS project, which aims to develop infrastructures capable of producing new radioisotopes for medical diagnosis and treatment. HUG also provides the personnel of CERN’s medical service and fire and rescue service with theoretical and practical first-aid training.

The CERN emergency response centre will be officially inaugurated at 11.30 a.m. on 20 May in the presence of representatives of the French and Swiss authorities. Journalists wishing to attend the inauguration of the Rive Droite emergency response centre are invited to apply for accreditation from the CERN Press Office by 18 May.



CERN Press Office

+41 22 767 34 32

+41 22 767 21 41

Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève

Nicolas de Saussure

Head of Media and Public Relations

T. +41 22 372 60 06 (direct)

M. +41 79 553 60 07


1.CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world's leading laboratory for particle physics. Its headquarters are in Geneva. Its Member States are currently: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Romania is a Candidate for Accession and Serbia is an Associate Member State in the pre-stage to Membership. India, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission, JINR and UNESCO have Observer status.

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