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Daily LifeEmergency Phone Numbers

In France unlike in the US there isn’t one central number to call in an emergency. That is there isn’t a French 911. What there is, are three main emergency numbers in France. They are 15, 17 and 18. These numbers will work when calling from a fixed line or cell phone.

The 15 is called the SAMU (Service d'Aide Médicale d'Urgence) and is for medical emergencies. The 15 isn’t just used for medical emergencies like car accidents. It can also be used to find a doctor on call outside of normal business hours should someone be sick.

17 is for the police and 18 is for the fire department.

There is also a general emergency number for European Union countries – 112.

There is also now an emergency for those how can't hear - 114, that can only be reached through SMS (text message) or fax.

In France 112 doesn’t replace any of the other emergency numbers, but is meant to work along side it. The idea is to have one emergency number for all of the European Union countries so that when traveling people will know what number to call in an emergency. So 112 will work in all European Union countries except for certain regions in Bulgaria.

There are also two other numbers that are handy to know in France, 115 and 119. 115 is for getting help for a homeless person. 119 is an abused child hotline.

There is also an independent SOS helpline in English - 01 46 21 46 46. It operates from 3 pm to 11 pm.

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