The healthcare in France is EXCELLENT and inexpensive compared to many other countries. Their response is usually quick, thorough, and highly competent. It is never fun to get sick or have an emergency, but rest assured if it occurs, France is one of the best places for that to happen! 


There is no guarantee that any English will be spoken on any of these emergency and helpline telephone numbers. All numbers can be called free from fixed landline, public telephone or mobile cellular phone. All emergency numbers can be reached from pay phones, without the use of a phone card or money.

Service Ph./Click to Call
Medical help - SAMU 15
Police 17
Fire & accident 18
SOS - all services (Europe wide) 112

The caller must:

  • State the location where assistance is needed;
  • State their name and telephone number;
  • State what happened, and if it is still happening;
  • State how many people need help;
  • State if there are weapons involved.

Other useful Numbers

Service Ph./Click to Call
Emergency doctor in Côte d’Or 03 80 40 28 28
Emergency Dentists in Côte d’Or 03 80 46 01 20
SOS Help Crisis line in English
15:00-23:00 daily
01 46 21 46 46
Anti-poison Helpline 03 83 32 36 36

The French ER Services


This is the ambulance service, called The Emergency Medical Assistance Service (Service d'Aide Médicale d'Urgence) reached by dialing 15 or 112.

There is always a qualified doctor is on hand to determine the most suitable response to a call and implement it. This may involve giving the caller information or advice, or sending the appropriate emergency vehicle: 

  • an ambulance for a street accident or home emergency;
  • a private ambulance;
  • a mobile resuscitation or intensive care vehicle or medical helicopter.

Sapeurs-pompiers (firefighters and first rescue):

The sapeurs-pompiers are the firefighters of France, supervised and trained by the Ministry of the Interior (Ministère de l'Intérieur). Firefighting brigades work closely with SAMU and are trained and equipped to respond to fires, auto accidents and emergency medical situations. 


Calls to 112 are received by either SAMU or the fire brigade and then instantly rerouted to the appropriate service or handled on the spot.  More info on 112 here.