Proteus: a frontrunner in fighting fires
Since 2013, Mont Blanc tunnel firefighters have used some of the most specialized trucks in the world, equipped with all the latest innovations, called Proteus. These vehicles were developed with the Tunnel workers, firefighters from Chamonix and Courmayeur, as well as French and Italian experts. Each truck represents an investment of 800,000 euros. The Proteus has a reservoir of 12,000 litres, with water pressure lasting up to 20 minutes. Its two hoses have a range of 60 meters while using a variable spray gun. A start and go” button on the side allows it to be switched on immediately. Proteus is also equipped with thermal cameras, the latest generation in radar, and a low profile cabin in order to advance regardless of visibility in the tunnel.
Janus at the museum!
Janus, a specialized fire fighting vehicle developed specifically for the Mont Blanc Tunnel, has been donated by the ATMB to the Haute-Savoie Firefighters Museum (Sciez). It has with two control heads - hence its name - and was equipped with the latest technology of the time. Commissioned in 2002, it was replaced by Proteus in 2013.
A new tool for Centralized Technical Management
The Mont Blanc Tunnel uses a totally new tool for Centralized Technical Management (GTC). This computerized safety equipment control system incorporates the latest technologies in data processing and simulation tools for team training. It continuously analyses more than 100,000 pieces of data from the various monitoring tools located throughout the Tunnel: cameras, smoke detectors, thermometers, etc. In the event of an incident, the operators in the control room rely on this centralized technical management system to activate appropriate safety measures immediately, in line with pre-established procedures: signage display, ventilation, interrupting traffic flows by lowering barriers at entrances and inside the tunnel, etc.
More than 100,000 analysed checkpoints to activate safety measures immediately.
Form the roads based on specific Tunnel rules
Regularly, staff the European Economic Interest Grouping of the Mont Blanc Tunnel (GEIE-TMB) the European Economic Interest Grouping of the Mont Blanc Tunnel (GEIE-TMB) organize information and awareness sessions for transportation professionals. They aim to draw attention to the importance of strict observation of safety and traffic rules in the Tunnel: maintaining a distance of 150 meters from the vehicle ahead of you, stopping and cutting the engine immediately if your vehicle breaks down or starts smoking. These sessions, which allow GEIE - TMB staff to network with transportation professionals around the message "Vigilance, a shared responsibility", always go down well.
3 environmental initiatives
- A bridge for hikers
The GEIE Mont Blanc Tunnel teams constructed a 27 meter-long bridge above the Creusaz torrent. It will allow hikers to safely continue hiking the trails between the Chamonix city centre or Dard waterfall and the Bossons glacier and Aiguille du Midi.
- Tunnel: water air conditioners
After a test period, 24 water air conditionners were installed in the tunnel in order to be more environmentally friendly. This initiative makes the GEIE-TMB a leading user of natural sources.
- Green energy to power the tunnel
Electrical energy from France is 100% green. Since January 1st, 2016, all of the electrical energy consumed in the Tunnel comes from solar, wind and hydraulic processes.
Preserving air quality
Since 2002, the oldest heavy goods vehicles (Euro 0.1 and 2) have been gradually banned from the Mont Blanc Tunnel. Traffic regulations set by the French and Italian governments have resulted in over 90% of heavy goods vehicle traffic being Euro 5 and 6, the highest in environmental standards. Trucks using the Tunnel amount for less than 1% of fine particle emissions in the valley.
The 2015 Air-Rhône- Alpes study (association approved for air quality monitoring in the Rhone- Alpes) shows that in the Arve Valley, a majority of nitrogen oxide emissions are from transportation, this being 69% of total emissions. Emissions from heavy goods vehicles account for 20% of global emissions. Emissions from the residential sector account for 16%. This spread of emissions is of the same order as that found in the Haute-Savoie department.
History of the tunnel
Safety in the Mont Blanc Tunnel in figures
157 cameras; 3,860 heat sensors; 35,000 control points; 40 lighted signs; 116 safety stations; 37 shelters; 1 independent evacuation route under the entire length of the Tunnel; 116 fire stations; 11 firefighters present 24/7; 4 specialized intervention trucks.
Over €400 million was invested to open a new Tunnel in 2002.