SAMU de France is a national organisation that despatches and regulates emergency medical care throughout France. In France ‘Services Mobiles d’Urgence et de Réanimations’, or Emergency Mobile Resuscitation Services are known as SMUR. The first such teams were established in 1955, to provide pre-hospital care at road accidents. In the following years many other hospitals introduced similar emergency medical services, and these were formally recognised by the government in 1965. In 1968 the Service d’aide médicale urgente (SAMU) or Emergency Medical Assistance Service was created to dispatch and coordinate these hospital teams. A SAMU call centre was established in each Department, 100 in total, and they control about 350 SMUR distributed throughout the country. In the 1970s military and Protection Civile helicopters began to be used for the most urgent accident cases. In 1983 the first civil helicopter service was established. At the present time there are 40 SAMU helicopter services, three of which are seasonal. Each service is provided by a commercial contractor and may cover a number of departments.
||First mobile hospital teams for attending accidents (SMUR teams) formed.
|2 December 1965
||Government decree formally authorises SMUR teams attached to hospitals.
||SAMU established to dispatch and coordinate SMUR teams.
||First full-time civil helicopter SAMU service launched.
|6 January 1986
||New law passed to regulate Emergency Medical Services.
The SAMU aircraft and helicopters are used for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) missions and Air Ambulance duties.
No plans known.
Since SAMU helicopters are operated by contracted commercial companies, they are seen in a variety of colour schemes. Most common are variants of overall white with blue markings or overall yellow with blue markings. The markings include SAMU service titles and the three-barred cross which is the official logo of SAMU. Most helicopters also carry the SAMU district number and the logo of the commercial operator. Fixed wing (King Air) aircraft appear to retain their operators colour scheme with the three-barred cross in white on a black disk behind the cockpit amd SAMU 2B titles on the fin fairing.
Aircraft Serial Numbers
SAMU aircraft and helicopters carry French civil registrations, e.g. EC135 F-GMTF, except for the MD902s which operate under Belgian civil registrations.
Coding system not used
None – Manufacturers designations used
Current Aircraft Inventory
Table of Current Service Aircraft
All-Time Aircraft Used List
All-Time Table of Aircraft Used
Aircraft NOT Used
Cessna 150 F-SMUR and SOCATA TB20 F-SAMU are entirely fictional.
Samu-Urgences de France, 103 avenue de Magenta, F-75010 PARIS.
All helicopters and aircraft are operated by local SAMU units attached to major hospitals or health centres.
Current Unit Assignments
Table of Current Unit Assignments
Historical Unit Assignments
To be added.
All-Time Flying Units List
List of Flying Units
Current Air Bases
See table of unit assignments.
All-Time Air Bases Used List
French Aviation Bibliography – to be added
No feature articles known.
Service d’aide médicale urgente
Map of SAMU helicopter bases
SAMU helicopters in France
The Bases of SAMU Helicopters in France
Any further photographs illustrating this air arm would be welcome.