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In an emergency 112 is the general emergency services number or 114 for hearing assisted.

You can also dial direct to the service you need:

15 Serious medical – SAMU.  A doctor will asses the emergency response needed
17 Police – (commissariat de police or gendarmerie)
18 Fire brigade (Sapeurs Pompiers) for fire, traffic and domestic accidents
112 Sea and lake emergencies (calling from land)
1616 VHF Channel 16 (calling from the sea)
119 Child in danger
116 000 Missing child
08 00 05 95 95 Rape hotline

When you call you will be asked to:

  1. State the location where assistance is needed
  2. State your name and telephone number
  3. State what happened, and if it is still happening
  4. State how many people need help
  5. State if there are weapons involved

All emergency numbers are free so can be dialled from pay phones and mobiles, without the use of a phone card, money or credit.

Useful emergency phrases

It is usual for the emergency services and doctors to speak English but it is also reassuring to know a few key emergency phrases:

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
Need a doctor Besoin un médecin (Il me faut un médecin)
Need an ambulance Besoin une ambulance (Il me faut une ambulance)
Accident Un accident
I have had an accident J’ai eu un accident
Injured Blessé(e)
Unconscious Perdre connaissance
Bleeding Hémorragie
Heart attack Crise cardiaque
Stroke AVC (Un accident vasculaire cérébral) (pronounced “aiy vaiy caiy”)
Drowning Noyade (se noyer)
Burn Brûlure
Very sick Très malade
In labour/having contractions Avoir contractions
I am in labour Je suis en train d’accoucher
Fire Feu
The house is on fire La maison a pris feu
The car is on fire La voiture a pris feu
Burglar/intruder Cambrioleur/Intrus
I am being burgled Je suis en train de me faire cambrioler
Someone is in the house Quelqu’un est chez moi (Quelqu’un est entré par effraction chez moi)
Emergency Une urgence
Help me Aidez moi
Help! Au secours



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