Every department in France has a specialised public body for Fire and Rescue Services: the SDIS. It consists of a fire fighting unit (professional as well as voluntary) and an administrative and technical staff. The mission of the SDIS concentrates on three main functions: Operations, Preparation and Prevention. They evaluate and prevent all risks for civil security, like accidents, damage and technological and natural hazards. They prepare protective measures and organise special equipment. They fight fires of any kind, offer emergency aid in general and protect persons, belongings and the environment.

In the department of Pas-de-Calais (62) 1100 professional fire fighters, 3200 volunteers and 250 administrative and technical staff are stationed at 48 Fire and Rescue Service Centres (CIS), 3 defence groups and a departmental governance are situated in St-Laurent-Blangy, close to Arras.