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Cooperation with public services, safety drills

Safety drills

The three-monthly safety drills allow equipment and procedure efficiency to be tested in accordance with particularly serious incidents (accidents, fires, ...). They enable all responsible persons to put two safety plans into action - the internal intervention and safety plan (PIIS) and the bi-national rescue plan (PSB) - and to find out more about the methods and expectations of each plan. Once a year, a more wide-ranging and important drill involves the intervention of external reinforcements, employees of the Prefecture authorities.

Rescue plans

The rescue procedures currently in force at the Mont Blanc Tunnel provide for two levels of intervention: the PIIS (internal intervention and safety plan) and the PSB (the bi-national rescue plan).
The PIIS is applied every time the alarm systems detect a serious abnormality in the working of the systems, or the presence of a stationary vehicle in the tunnel, whatever the reason may be. The PIIS envisages all the scenarios of possible incidents (from technical faults to fires), the procedures for handling incidents, operating methods and the systems to be activated, the human resources to be used  (internal immediate intervention service, fire brigades, assistants for the evacuation of customers, technicians, etc.) The PIIS also establishes the moment at which external rescue services must be called. 
The PSB is applied when, because of the seriousness and the complexity of the incident to be dealt with, it is necessary to call in the Franco-Italian Public Emergency Services (Valle d’Aosta and Haute-Savoie Fire Brigades, the Civil Protection, medical units, Police forces, Customs…). In this case, supervision of operations passes over to the authority of the Prefect of Haute-Savoie or of Valle d’Aosta, according to territorial competence determined according to the place where the incident has occurred.

The three-party agreement on permanent cooperation

In 2006 GEIE-TMB, SDIS74 (the Alta Savoia department of fire and rescue services) and RAVA (the autonomous region of Valle d’Aosta) signed a permanent cooperation agreement aimed at optimising the safety conditions in the Mont-Blanc Tunnel in relation to and cooperation with the safety committee, the technical body of the intergovernmental commission. This cooperation agreement enables the development of a permanent organisation that will ensure the achievement of the following objectives:

  • cooperation, by means of the exchange of information and structured communication, which promotes prevention and intervention conditions in the Tunnel;

  • various services, such as: reciprocal training of personnel, availability of vehicles and equipment, participation in internal drills, non-profit secondment of personnel;

  • various cooperation, such as: exchange of collective experiences, permanent efforts to improve the techniques adopted;

  • reciprocal consultation, which enables: public service professionals to inform GEIE-TMB and formulate proposals for improvement, GEIE-TMB to inform public services and formulate proposals for improvement.

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