Emergency Numbers in France

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Whether you are moving to France or visiting for a short period of time, knowing these emergency numbers will help you to be prepared and stay safe in the event of an accident, a health concern or an emergency. Find out who to call, and what to say if you encounter an emergency situation in France.

The European Emergency Assistance Number

When in any doubt, dial the European Emergency Number at 112. Operators responding to this number will be able to communicate with you in French or in English, offer assistance and can redirect your call to the appropriate emergency service where necessary.

French Emergency Numbers

Emergency Numbers to Call in France
Service Number When to call this number
European Emergency Number 112 For any situation that requires fire rescue, an ambulance, or the police
Hearing Assisted European Emergency Number 114 For any situations requiring fire/rescue, an ambulance, or the police
Fire 18

For situations requiring rapid interventions/rescue, such as:

  • Fire/extreme burns
  • Gas leak
  • Risk of collapse/burial
  • Electrocution
  • Road accident
Police 17

To report a crime that requires an immediate police response, such as:

  • Violence/Assault
  • Burglary
  • Snatching/Pickpocketing/Mugging
SAMU (Service d'aide médicale urgente - ambulance) 15

Call the SAMU for a response to critical health and medical situations, which may include:

  • Urgent medical emergencies
  • Coma
  • Haemorrhage
  • Severe chest pain
  • Respiratory difficulties/When somebody is no longer breathing
  • Extreme burns
  • Intoxication
Maritime Emergency/Coastguard 196

Call 196 to reach the French coastguard (centre opérationnel de surveillance et de sauvetage en mer - CROSS), as either a witness to or victim of:

  • Distress or emergency at sea
  • Missing persons
  • Anything observed at sea that seems abnormal
Emergency Shelter/SAMU Social 115 Call 115 if you risk homelessness. You can also call 115 to report anyone who appears to be in social distress
Child Protection 119 Call this number to reach the Service national d'accueil téléphonique de l'enfance en danger (SNATED) and report a child in danger (or risk of being in danger)
Missing Child 116 000 This is the CFPE-Enfants Disparus number, which responds to reports of missing children
Terror/Kidnapping Hotline 197 Created in August, 2015, this number is for reporting events of terrorism or hostage-taking
Aeronautical Emergencies 191 This number is for reporting situations of aircraft in distress

What to say during an emergency call

It is important to be as clear as possible when making a call to report an emergency situation. Don't forget to specify:

  • Who you are: state your name and a phone number from which you can be reached. Specify whether you are a victim or a witness.
  • What has happened, and how many people are involved
  • When you arrived at the scene, and whether the incident is still happening
  • Where you are: providing an address or directions to your location will help ensure assistance reaches you quickly
  • Don't forget to specify whether weapons were involved

French Emergency Vocabulary

Below is a list of terms you may find helpful in the event of an incident.

Health-Related French Vocabulary
English French English French
Accident Un accident Ambulance Une ambulance
Bandages Pansements Bleeding Hémorraghie
Burn Une brûlure Chest pain Douleur thoracique
To choke S'étouffer CPR RPC
Difficulty breathing Difficultés respiratoires Discomfort Malaise
Emergency Urgence Food poisoning Intoxication alimentaire
First Aid Premiers secours Fracture Une fracture
Heart Attack Une crise cardiaque Healing Guérison
Help! Aidez-moi/Au secours! Infection Une infection
Infection Une infection Injury Une blessure
Labour Un accouchement Poison Poison
Shock Un choc Sprain Une entorse
Stroke AVC Unconscious Inconscient
Wound Une plaie X-ray Radiologie
Other French Emergency Vocabulary
English French English French
Assault Attaque/Agression Attack Attentat
Burglary Cambriolage Car accident Accident de la route/ Accident de voiture
Drowning Noyade Fire Feu/Incendie
Firefighter Sapeur-pompier Help me! Au secours/Aidez-moi
Police La police Police officer Policier
Shooting Fusillade Sexual assault Agression sexuelle
Weapon Une arme  
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