+33 411 932 599

Emergency happens. If you or someone close to you is injured and you need urgent assistance, we thought we’d put together a list of phrases that you might want to print out and keep somewhere handy – but here’s hoping you won’t need them anytime soon!

Important phone numbers

18 – This is an essential emergency number and will connect you to the fire brigade (Sapeurs Pompiers) who can redirect you to the most appropriate service. They can also deal with medical emergencies and should be the first port of call in life-threatening situations.

15SAMU (Service d’Aide Médical d’Urgence) is for medical aid and an ambulance service.

17 – Police / Gendarmes.

112 – The SOS number 112 can be dialed to reach emergency services – medical, fire and police – from anywhere in France from any telephone (landline, pay phone or mobile cellular phone). 112 operators use an interpretation service covering several languages.

114 – Text messaging service for the hearing impaired.

01 46 21 46 46SOS Help is an English-language emotional support line for the international community in France. Lines open 15h00-23h00 daily.

3237 – (0.35€/min) Outside normal hours GP and pharmacy information.

If you call for help you will need to identify your location or national road number/street address. A GPS or mobile phone application can give you the coordinates: make sure you know how to find this information before you ever need it!

30 emergency words and phrases

Help meAidez-moi
EmergencyUne urgence
On fireEn feu
FloodUne inondation
My location isJe me trouve à
Car accidentUn accident de voiture
Elderly personUne personne âgée
I have had an accidentJ’ai eu un accident
Fallen overTombé par terre
CollapsedS’est effondré
Need a doctorBesoin d’un médecin
Need an ambulanceBesoin d’une ambulance
Heart attackUne crise cardiaque
StrokeUn accident vasculaire cerebral - AVC
Epileptic seizureUne crise d’épilepsie
UnconsciousPerdu connaissance
Not breathingNe respire pas
Very sickTrès malade
In labourEn train d’accoucher
DiabetesLe diabète
PainUne douleur
FeverUne fièvre
BurnUne brûlure

If you know some other useful numbers that do not appear in this article, feel free to post them in the comments below. Stay safe and enjoy an accident free summer!

For a comprehensive understanding of the French healthcare system in English, and a full glossary of medical terms – download our ebook Healthcare bundle here.

Dennelle Taylor Nizoux

Dennelle is the President of Renestance and a bilingual American who’s lived in France since 2000. She loves so many things about France, its language, culture, geography, quality of life... that she started a business to help others realize their dreams of living in this incredible place.

All articles by: Dennelle Taylor Nizoux

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