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Call pompiers in emergencies

Pompiers – the fire service – have more ambulances than the Samu service and are best-equipped to deal with heart attack

THE POMPIERS (fire service) are the first port of call in medical emergencies in France.

You might expect that calling out the Samu (an ambulance service with medically-trained personnel) would be most suitable for serious accidents and illnesses. However, the pompiers have far more ambulances. They are also best-equipped to deal with heart-attacks as all of their ambulances carry defibrillators.

If in doubt, in a medical emergency call the pompiers first – on 18 or from mobiles use the international emergency number 112. If necessary they will send an ambulance immediately; or if the situation calls for medical attention, they will alert the Samu, who will decide if they should send a team as well.

The pompiers also have specialist teams such as divers, rescuers for dangerous situations such as accidents on construction sites and in the mountains, and dog handlers for finding missing people. Their call centre staff receive English lessons and have access to interpreters.

THE ABOVE is an extract from our 2015 Moving to France helpguide, giving an overview of many areas of French life – Including buying property, healthcare, benefits available, ways to better your French and work. It has 96 pages of useful information on living in France.
The guide will be printed at the end of January 2015. Printed copies (€9.50 plus P&P) will be limited – if you would like to pre-order to avoid disappointment visit our website here or call Nathalie on 06 40 61 71 97 or (from the UK) 0844 256 9881 (4p/min).
If you would like to advertise in the 2015 helpguide email

Photo:David Crochet

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