Plant fire brigade at Pierre Fabre

Data sheet for an alarm system/DAT

The Pierre Fabre laboratory, based in Gien in the region of Loiret, France has had a Swissphone alerting network installed for several years. This solution ensures emergency teams can respond effectively, while personnel engaged in sensitive work benefit from working in a secure environment…

On-site emergency response services are divided into four teams who, in addition to their normal duties, take on firefighter and internal nurse roles to act as first- and second responders. These teams are equipped with Swissphone pagers so they can be deployed quickly, while other workers are equipped with a Swissphone TRIO Lone Worker Alarm Device.

Overview of the Gien site

An immense pharmaceutical complex, the Gien facility comprises several two- and four-storey buildings. Most of these are linked together, so it is possible to move between them without going outside. There are also some vast basement areas. About 500 people work on the site which covers a production area of almost 42,300 square metres.

"Our arrangements with Swissphone work very well. If ever there is any concern, I just call my technical contact person directly and it’s quickly resolved."
Jean-Gilbert Suplisson responsible technician for maintenance and repair

A vast industrial site

An immense pharmaceutical complex, the Gien facility comprises several two-storey buildings and two larger 4 storey building, most of which stand adjacent to one another. There are two further buildings which rise even higher to accommodate four floors. Most buildings are interlinked, so it is possible to move around the complex without ever going outside. This proximity means that if a small localised fire should break out, it could quickly spread to other buildings – hence the need to be able to intervene quickly. In addition, there are vast basement areas. The layout of the site makes for a challenging environment to deploy an alerting network, meaning that detailed planning was required… There are around 500 people working on the site (internal and external), which encompasses a production area of almost 42,300 square metres. And because processing involves the handling of flammable chemicals, as well as the manufacture of chemical powders, there are significant risks present at the site.

Pagers for firefighters & nurses

In the event of an emergency requiring an internal emergency team response – firefighters and nurses – the message will be sent to Swissphone DE710 (400 MHz) pagers. There is an operations room which houses a set of twenty-five pagers complete with intelligent multi-chargers, each of which can charge up to eight units. ‘Intelligent’ means that these chargers will advise the transmitter and I.SEARCH software which pagers are actually present (i.e. being charged). From this information, it can then be deduced which personnel are absent, and therefore unavailable, because each pager is associated with a specific worker. I.SEARCH intelligent operation makes it possible to automatically deploy up to four response teams according to the human resources available.


As well as its transmitter function, I.SEARCH is also an alarm management server. Two computers are connected to the system (which facilitates redundant deployment): one is placed in the operations room (at the main entrance) and the second is sited at the switchboard (almost at the centre of the factory). Depending on the timetable, the operator responsible for supervising safety-related interventions will be based at one or other of these locations. When an internal phone call reports an accident, the operator will immediately transmit an alert to the firefighter pagers (from the switchboard or operations room). The I.SEARCH can also do this automatically, but in this instance, the customer has opted for the alarm to be triggered manually


Furthermore, arrangements have also been made to ensure the security of lone workers (internal or external) who work at the Gien site. This system uses another totally independent device: the light and compact Swissphone TRIO. This is a DATI unit with integrated GSM and GPS modules, which Swissphone has specially designed for lone workers. There is a full complement of around thirty of these units. Alongside its integrated alarm button facility, the TRIO can independently detect a fall or other discomforting dangerous and will then send an emergency call together with location data via GSM vector (GPRS, 3G and SMS). The TRIO also incorporates an onboard audio alarm as a further guide to those coming to assist the person in difficulty.

Location terminals

Indoors, where there is no GPS signal, the TRIO is located using terminals. A series of IBT10 indoor location senders have been installed for this purpose. These units, which have been strategically positioned in the hallways at all entrances, are used to track internal movements. So when a TRIO initiates a distress alarm, it simultaneously transmits the last terminal ID it has received. In normal circumstances, these units run from a 220-volt mains supply, but they also have two backup batteries. That means they will continue to function in the event of a power outage, and thus can continue to ensure the safety of any operator equipped with a TRIO terminal.


Also accessible via a computer, the Swissphone SOSPortal is a professional alarm system for managing lone worker emergency calls which can be associated with DATI devices such as the TRIO. When an alarm is triggered, the screen shows the approximate location of the casualty and the type of alarm used on a map displaying all of the factory buildings – including the different floor levels. Medical information can also be appended, and the portal opens a predefined event management process which includes a list of people to contact. And when the management intervention is finished, the system archives all the actions taken. In the absence of an operator, the SOS-Portal can alert rescuers automatically by TRIO, SMS, phone call (text to speech), and for a period of time by an app which can transform Smartphones into DATI devices.

Few false alerts

Generally speaking, the maintenance technician Jean-Gilbert Suplisson reports that “the equipment is reliable and efficient”. The alerts are routed correctly, and he is pleased “there are not many false alarms, which is very reassuring”. Maintenance is taken very seriously, so the DE710s and TRIOs are regularly checked to ensure every piece of equipment is always in perfect working order. To achieve this aim, and with the agreement of the plant management, Mr. Suplisson has scheduled an annual cycle of pager replacement.

Components of the Swissphone solution


Pager DE710


I.SEARCH (with multi-charger)
Indoor position transmitter

Data sheet for an alarm system/DATI

You need support?

We are happy to help!