CERN Fire Brigade in Berlin!

CERN Fire Brigade in Berlin!

Promotion of the CERN Fire Brigade at the Berlin Firefighter Stair Run

The 12th annual Berlin Firefighter Stair Run was held on May 4, 2024, at Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany. Firefighters from different European nations gathered to race up the 39 floors of the Park Inn Hotel – in full equipment, including heavy breathing equipment, weighing approximately in total.

Out of 1,000 hopeful entrants, 400 teams were selected through a random draw: participants included several local teams from Berlin and wider Germany, but also international teams from Belgium, Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and two teams from the CERN Fire brigade.

In the event's 'Oldies' category (teams with a combined age of over 80), CERN was represented by Gunnar Egner and Adrian Pedrosa, while Heiko Clicqué and Thomas Schaffrath competed in the 'Oldies XL' category (teams with a combined age of over 100). The focus was not only on representing CERN in an honouring manner by achieving top rankings but more importantly fostering team spirit, recruiting professional international firefighters to join CERN, and creating new connections. Currently, the CERN Fire Department is comprised of members from 15 European nations, bringing a wide range of experience and expertise, and this needs to be continued and further developed.

Gunnar Egner, a colleague from CERN’s Fire Brigade since 2019 (read his journey into CERN), is excited to be part of an international team tackling a variety of challenges that are uncommon in most firefighters' home locations. This includes radioactive protection, cryogenics, rope rescue, and fire extinguisher maintenance across a vast industrial site. To share these unique experiences with other professional firefighters, particularly those from nations underrepresented or not yet represented in the CERN Fire Department, Gunnar E. proposed leveraging the exposure at the Berlin Firefighter Stair Run. After asking for support from the CERN Fire Brigade management and three colleagues, two teams engaged in a 4-week training regimen, which involved repeatedly and getting faster and faster ascending and descending the stairs of the HiLumni (High Luminosity Large Hadron Collider). Keeping in mind: it is a standard procedure for each CERN firefighter to be able to walk up and down the stairs at a specific Large Hadron Collider point with full firefighting equipment, including a double oxygen tank, in case of an emergency if the lift is blocked.

The excellent opportunity to promote the CERN Fire Service was just as important as the excellent results of the two CERN teams at the Berlin Firefighters Stair Run (6th and 15th place in their categories). In personal talks, German, Polish, Czech, and Danish firefighters showed great interest in the wide range of tasks performed by the CERN fire brigade, while discussions were held with the State Fire Director of Berlin and the company fire brigade of PCK-Schwedt (petroleum refinery) on possible cooperation in mutually beneficial training.

Want to join CERN's Fire Brigade?

🚒 👨‍🚒👩‍🚒 🧯 This summer, the CERN Fire and Rescue Service will be recruiting Professional Firefighters to join their team and the four colleagues Gunnar Egner, Heiko Clicqué, Thomas Schaffrath, and Adrian Pedrosa – who showed great effort, enthusiasm, and commitment at the Berlin Firefighter Stair Run are optimistic that their publicity at the Berlin Firefighter Stair Run will resonate and attract a host of enthusiastic applicants from across Europe.

CERN. Take part!

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