So, you’ve settled in to life in France and there is an emergency... what do you do? Who do your phone? What do you say? Emergency numbers are one of the things expats commonly forget to make a note of until it’s too late. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of French emergency numbers and some details to help you stay prepared.

Calling French emergency services

Firstly, be prepared ahead of the call. When calling French emergency services (whether you want to speak with the Police, the Fire service or you are in need of medical help) you will be expected to state your name, telephone number and the location where help is required.

Following this you will need to explain the situation and if it’s still occurring, and how many people need help and whether there are any weapons or substances involved.

One important thing to remember is to make sure you don’t hang up until you are told to do so.

Tips when calling any emergency service hotline:

  • Call the correct number. There are some French emergency numbers that are specifically for English speakers.
  • If the emergency involves a child state their age and weight.
  • If you are referring to medication or any existing medical issues make sure you know the French name for them.
112 is a pan-European emergency number and is recommended to dial when calling from a mobile phone.

Emergency Numbers

Ambulance (SAMU) (medical help): 15
When you call the French Ambulance service a doctor will help determine the response required for your situation.

Police (Police Nationale or the Gendarmerie Nationale): 17
Call this number to get in contact with the emergency police services near you – this could be the Police Nationale or the Gendarmerie Nationale.

Fire brigade (Sapeurs Pompiers): 18

SOS – (all services): 112
Pan-European emergency number and the recommended number when calling from a mobile

SOS – (all services): 114
For hard of hearing

SOS Drug/Alcohol Addiction: 113
Coastguard (on land): 196
Coastguard (not in land): VHF Channel 16
SAMU Social Care (emergency shelter): 115
Child in danger: 119
Missing Child: 116 000
Domestic violence helpline: 3919
Out-of-hours doctors: 116 117
Medical advice line (SOS Médecins): 08 20 33 24 24
English speaking SOS helpline: 01 46 21 46 46
Find a duty pharmacy: 3237
Red Cross: 08 00 85 88 58
Dental helpline: 01 43 37 51 00
Psychiatric emergency: 01 45 65 81 08
Gas leak assistance: 01 40 33 80 60


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