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Recently updated on November 16th, 2022 at 02:57 am

French Emergency Numbers.

 

Need urgent help in France? Read our guide to emergencies in France and ensure you have the right French emergency numbers to deal with your situation.

In your home country dealing with an emergency is second nature.You know the phone number to call to reach the emergency services .

In Canada and the States it is 911 in the UK it is 999 whether you need the police or the coastguard.In France you have a choice of 14 different numbers.

If you are a visitor to France and not confident of your ability to ask for help in French it can be downright scary.

But don’t worry. Our guide to  emergency numbers in France will arm you with the information you need should you encounter serious difficulties or require any assistance.

Europe wide 112

The french emergency phone number system is  complicated. Fortunately there is a single Europe wide Emergency number and despite the hours of research to detail the various numbers LeFrancophile recommends using this number for every emergency.

 

This is a guide to the free French emergency phone numbers.   For information on helplines,support and non emergency contact numbers and services visit our visitor support page.

This list contains advice on the following;

French emergency services and numbers.
Fire services in France.
Police in France.
Emergency Healthcare and accidents in France.
Europe wide emergency number.    
Hearing Impaired telephone number.
Social Emergency telephone number.
SOS Missing Children telephone number.              .
Anti-Poison Centres contact numbers.
Aeronautical Emergency telephone number.
Coastguard telephone number.
Terror/Kidnapping Hotline.
Road and Traffic Emergencies in France.
What to do when calling a French emergency number.
Emergency terms and phrases in French.

French emergency services and numbers.

There are three main emergency services in France:

the medical service (SAMU), the fire brigade (sapeurs-pompiers), and the police (Police Nationale or Gendarmerie Nationale).

In an emergency, you can call the following French numbers from any phone in France:

The call is free, and the operators provide the emergency services with the location data of the caller.

Service Number
Medical-SAMU 15
Police 17
Fire Brigade 18
Europe Wide Emergency Number 112

Download, print and keep a copy of the important numbers (click here)

You should only use the numbers above in a genuine emergency or life-threatening situation, such as for serious medical issues, fire-related incidents and to report crimes.

European flag with 112

The following emergency numbers are also free and can be called from any phone in France and also provide location data.

Service Number
Hearing Impaired Text 114 www.urgence114.fr.
Social Emergency (SAMU
115
Missing Children
116 000
Child Abuse 119
Aeronautical Emergency 191
Coastguard 196
Terror Kidnapping Hotline 197

 

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Fire services in France
The French fire brigade (les Sapeurs Pompiers) is available by calling 18 on any phone

Generally, the fire brigade is the first service to respond  to road injuries and domestic accidents. In rural areas, it is generally the fastest to the scene for all emergencies.

Sapeurs pompiers providing medical assistance to injured man
Par Ibex73 — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50770302

The fire service coordinates with other emergency services where necessary. It works closely with the medical service and employs professional medical responders as well as volunteer brigades.

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Police in France.
You can contact the police in an emergency by calling 17 from any phone.

You will be connected to the appropriate emergency police service nearest to your location – either the Police Nationale, which is responsible for urban areas, or the Gendarmerie Nationale, which covers rural regions.

TWO French Gendarmes on motorbikes in Paris
Image par alyoshine de Pixabay

The Police Nationale conducts criminal enquiries and performs security operations such as traffic control. The Gendarmerie Nationale is operated by the armed forces. It carries out criminal investigations and security activities.

It’s worth noting down the emergency number for your local French police station, which can be contacted for non-emergency inquiries. There is a secondary  police force (la Police Municipale) attached to towns. The municipal police have relatively limited powers and generally handle local law enforcement, such as dealing with traffic offenses and lost property.

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Emergency healthcare and accidents.

French emergency numbers for accidents and healthcare
In a medical or health-related emergency in France, call 15 from any phone.

The SAMU (Services d’Aide Medicale Urgente) is the national emergency service in France. It deals with serious emergencies, providing ambulances as well as specialist medical teams.

The SAMU boasts around 100 call centers, each run by a local hospital. Centers are manned by French doctors and trained medical staff. The SAMU also operates hundreds of emergency response teams (SMUR – Service Mobile d’Urgence et Reanimation).

When you call SAMU,the operator will determine the best response for your situation.This will range from sending an ambulance, sending an on-duty doctor to recommending you visit your own doctor. You can contact an out-of-hours doctor using the telephone number 116 117.

In a non-emergency situation, you can visit your local hospital’s A&E department (urgences). Not all hospitals have A&E services, so check before travelling.

Another alternative is use the Maisons Medicales de Garde (MMG). The MMG operates an out-of-hours medical service available 24/7. These centers offer support from GP or other medical professionals. Not all areas have an MMG, however.

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Europe Wide Emegency Number 112

112 The nearest equivalent of 911 or 999. It can be dialled from anywhere in Europe and you will reach the emergency services of the country from which you are calling.The operators speak English and will direct the appropriate emergency services to your location.

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Hearing Impaired 114

114 is the 24/7 free national emergency call number that allows any deaf, deafened or hard of hearing person, whether victim or witness of an emergency, to alert the emergency services (SAMU, Fire Brigade, Gendarmerie and Police)
calls, depending on their type, are handled either by hearing agents or by deaf agents.

It is now possible to contact Urgence 114 by:

◊ Video
◊ Chat
◊ SMS
◊ Fax
◊ Smartphone application: 114 ( iOS and Android)
◊ From a computer: www.urgence114.fr.

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Social Emergency-Urgence social 115

You can call 115 if you are a person or a household or a family seeking information or encountering social difficulties such as the absence or loss of housing or domestic violence.

You can also contact 115 if you are a citizen wishing to report a distress situation, especially during very cold weather to find accommodation for someone on the street.

Homeless man and child on a bench
Image par Alan de Pixabay

Your call handler will asses the situation with you and if necessary, directs you to social emergency measures and services.
They will be able to get in touch with the various organizations such as the SAMU Social, the mobile teams, the social services or the associations that offer aid.

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SOS Missing Children.  116 000

If your child has gone missing you must first inform the police.Then contact 116000EnfantsDisparu who will make sure all the relevant procedures are followed in the search for a missing child.

 

Anti-poison centers.

Angers: 02 41 48 21 21
Bordeaux: 05 56 96 40 80
Grenoble: 04 76 76 56 46
Lille: 08 25 81 28 22
Lyon: 04 72 11 69 11
Marseille: 04 91 75 25 25
Nancy: 03 83 32 36 36
Reims: 03 26 06 07 08
Rennes: 02 99 59 22 22
Rouen: 02 35 88 44 00
Strasbourg: 03 88 37 37 37
Toulouse: 05 61 77 74 47

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Aeronautical Emergency 191

The aeronautical emergency call number 191 can be used by any user in a distress situation, by any direct witness of an aircraft accident, or by anyone worried about the disappearance of an aircraft and its occupants.

Calling 191 allows aeronautical rescue coordination centers in mainland France and overseas to initiate search and rescue operations for the occupants of aircraft in distress or presumed to be such.

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Coastguard 196

196 is the emergency telephone number in France that can be called to reach  the regional operational surveillance and rescue centers( les Centres Régionaux Opérationnels de Surveillance et de Sauvetage6-CROSS) with a phone to report people in difficulty at sea.             

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Terror/kidnapping hotline 197

The French emergency number 197, will only be activated if there is official alert in place as it relates specifically to terror alerts and kidnappings.It was introduced in 2015 after the terror attacks across France including the Charlie Hebdo shooting and the ‘Isis’ inspired beheading at a French factory, it’s hoped that information will be compiled, identified and tracked more quickly during major incidents.If no alert is in place the number will not be activated.

In addition to terror attacks, the number will also be used during cases where children have been reported kidnapped. Getting fast and direct information in these cases could be crucial.

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Road and traffic emergencies in France.

The best course of action to take in a road accident or emergency is to call a French emergency number.

If you’re involved in a minor collision and nobody is injured there is no need to contact or inform the police . If the accident results in any kind of injury (regardless of whether it’s your fault), you’ll need to contact the police and remain at the scene until they arrive. After a collision, you should move to a safe place and also put your warning triangle 30 meters behind the car to alert other drivers.

For minor collisions, you should take the name, address and insurance details of the other party, as well as their vehicle registration number. Details of any witnesses may also prove useful in an insurance dispute.Take pictures and if possible have a dashcam.

You must carry an amiable declaration (constat amiable)which you can download a version with translation  here and you must complete this if a French car is involved in the accident. This involves a written as well as a graphic description of the accident, which can be used as evidence. If you disagree with the declaration made by the other driver, do not sign the form.

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What to do when calling a French emergency number.

When calling any French emergency services phone number try to follow these tips:

State your name, telephone number, the location where help is needed, the situation, and if it’s still happening, how many people require help, and whether there are weapons or dangerous substances involved.

Europe wide 112Remember if you dial 112 you can ask for an English speaking operator.

Don’t hang up until the operator says you can.
If you have medical problems or regularly take prescription drugs, make sure you know how to say their names in French to the operator.
If you have children, cite their ages as well as how much they weigh if you need to call an anti-poison center or to administer medication.
In case you’re dealing with overdoses or poisonings,  inform the responders  of what was taken and if possible, give them them the remainder of the substance consumed.

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Emergency terms and phrases in French

All members of the family should practice how to give clear instructions when calling a French emergency number. This includes being able to say your name, address, and telephone number in French. You may come across an operator who speaks English but there is no guarantee of this.

If you do not speak French,  find a French-speaker whom you can trust if possible.

Police: La Police Nationale or gendarmerie
Fire brigade: Les sapeurs pompiers
Emergency services/ambulance: Service d’Aide Médicale d’Urgence or SAMU
Poisoning emergency: Urgence d’empoisonnement
Road emergency services: Services d’urgence routière
Emergency numbers: Numéros d’urgence

It’s an emergency: C’est un cas d’urgence.
My name is…: Je m’apelle…
My telephone number is…: Mon numéro de téléphone est…
I live at…: J’habite à…
Help!: Au secours!

Ambulance: Une ambulance.                                         I need an ambulance:J’ai besoin d’une ambulance.
Heart attack: Une crise cardiaque.                              My husband/My wife/My friend :is having a heart attack: Mon mari/ma femme/mon ami :fait une crise cardiaque.

Stroke: Une attaque cérébrale:                                     I think my husband/my wife/my friend suffered a stroke: Je pense que mon mari/ ma femme/mon ami a souffert une attaque cérébrale.
Choke: S’étouffer.                                                     My baby is choking: Mon bébé s’étouffe.
Difficulty breathing:difficulté a respirer.                          I have difficulty breathing: J’ai difficulté à respirer.
To bleed: saigner.                                                        I am bleeding a lot: Je saigne beaucoup.                   There is a lot of blood:Il y a beaucoup de sang.
Diabetic: diabétique.                                                    I am a diabetic: Je suis diabétique.                                I need insuline: J’ai besoin d’insuline.
Labour: accouchement/accoucher.                              My wife is giving birth. Her water has broken:             Ma femme accouche. la poche des eaux a percé.
To be poisoned: s’empoisonner.                                 My child has been poisoned:                                     Mon enfant s’est empoisonné.

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Dial 17 for the police, dial 18 for firefighters, or 15 for ambulance crews.

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