Translations when you’re calling for help (pronounce as best you can):
Accident: Un accident
I have had an accident: J’ai eu un accident
Unconscious: Perdre connaissance
Heart attack: Crise cardiaque
Stroke AVC: Un accident vasculaire cérébral
Very sick: très malade
Need a doctor: Besoin un médécin (Il me faut un médécin)
Need an ambulance Besoin une ambulance (Il me faut une ambulance)
Fire: Feu. The house is on fire: La maison a pris feu
The car is on fire La voiture a pris feu
I am being burgled: Je suis en train de me faire cambrioler
Someone is in the house: Quelqu’un est chez moi
Emergency: Une urgence
Help me: Aidez moi
Understanding the French Emergency Services
In the event of an emergency dial the appropriate number: medical (SAMU) 15, police 17, fire and accident 18 or the Pan-European number 112
Explain the situation to the operator. English may be spoken but there is no guarantee. 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.
The services reached by dialling 15 and 18 operate in conjunction with the emergency teams having skills, training and facilities suitable to many situations. “Firefighters” are qualified to provide first rescue and ambulance services.
Medical emergencies and accidents: SAMU. The Emergency Medical Assistance Service (Service d’Aide Médicale d’Urgence) reached by dialling 15 or 112.
There is always a qualified doctor 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
P.S: 1. Never skimp on trip insurance. 2. Pharmacists in France can offer good advice and provide helpful over-the-counter meds (antibiotics, aspirin).