The Service départemental d’incendie et de secours (SDIS) provides fire and rescue services in each Department of France, apart from Paris and central Marseille, which have separate military-staffed fire brigades. Each department funds and manages its own service, while working to standards set and inspected by central government. Many units seem to have been formed in the 1940s and 1950s, presumably replacing and supplementing previous volunteer services. In the late 1990s some SDIS units began to lease light aircraft for fire spotting patrols in the peak wildfire season of mid-summer. Fixed-wing aircraft operate under the radio call sign ‘Horus’, while helicopters use ‘Charlie’.
|23 February 1716||First official firefighting unit established in France.|
|21 March 1831||Formal organisation of municipal firefighting bodies.|
|?? 1942||First SDIS established as a local initiative.|
|20 May 1955||Establishment of SDIS units officially approved.|
|3 May 1996||New law mandates each department to have a SDIS.|
|??||First aircraft utilised for fire spotting.|
The SDIS aircraft are mainly used for fire spotting, but some helicopters are also used for water bombing.
No plan known.
Most SDIS aircraft retain the markings of the parent organisation they were leased from, with the addition of a ‘SAPEURS-POMPIERS 18 OU 112 LOT’ logo on the fin or fuselage. A few aircraft also carry SAPEUR-POMPIERS service titles on the fuselage. The Airvan and Cessna 207 of SDIS 66 actually carry elaborate fin markings depicting a firefighters helmet and SAPEURS POMPIERS 66 titles.
Aircraft Serial Numbers
SDIS aircraft carry French civil registrations, e.g. Gippsland GA-8 F-GOGR.
Coding system not used
None – Manufacturers designations used
Current Aircraft Inventory
|Aircraft Type||Total Del’d||Total Active||Still on Order||Role|
|Aerospatiale AS 350B Ecureuil||4+||?||0||Firefighting|
|Cessna 172||?||?||0||Fire Spotting|
|Cessna 177 Cardinal||1||1||0||Fire Spotting|
|Cessna 182||?||?||0||Fire Spotting|
|Cessna 207||1||1||0||Fire Spotting|
|Cessna 208 Grand Caravan||3?||1||0||Fire Spotting|
|Gippsland GA8 Airvan||1||1||0||Fire Spotting|
|Piper PA-28 Archer||?||?||0||Fire Spotting|
All-Time Aircraft Used List
|Aircraft Type||Quantity||Service Entry||Out of Service||Origin|
|Aero Commander S2R||2||??||??||leased|
|Aerospatiale AS 350B Ecureuil||4+||??||current||leased|
|Cessna 177 Cardinal||1||??||current||leased|
|Cessna 188 AgTruck||1||??||??||leased|
|Cessna 208B Grand Caravan||3?||??||current||leased|
|Gippsland GA8 Airvan||1||??||current||leased|
|Grumman G-164 Agcat||?||??||??||leased|
|Piper PA-28 Archer||1||??||current||leased|
Aircraft NOT Used
No false reports known.
The SDIS is a devolved service with each Department administering its own operations. There is no central headquarters.
SDIS aircraft are operated by the individual Department organisation.
Current Unit Assignments
Historical Unit Assignments
To be added.
All-Time Flying Units List
To be added.
Current Air Bases
See table of unit assignments.
All-Time Air Bases Used List
French Aviation Bibliography – to be added
No feature articles known.