Since 1968, “the Service d’Aide Médicale d’Urgence” (SAMU) or Emergency Medical Assistance Service has been providing an around the clock medical service. In the event of a serious emergency SAMU is able to respond by dispatching doctors, ambulances and helicopters.
Whether it’s a case of a temporary health problem or a critical injury, the Emergency Medical Assistance Service (SAMU) is responsible for intervening in cases of medical emergency, within each of the French departments.
Since 1978, 15 has been the freephone number to access this public service. The service provides 24 hour medical emergency coverage. The centres determine and activate a response adapted to the nature of the problem within minutes. Depending on the severity of the health problem, medical staff, general practitioners or life-support ambulances can be dispatched. The SAMU 80 service operating in the Somme department is equipped with a helicopter for more severe emergency operations. Useful advice : The number 15 is just one of the emergency service numbers in France : you can call 17 to access the police service and 18 for the fire brigade.