Home French Language French Firefighting Autos – FrenchCrazy

French Firefighting Autos – FrenchCrazy

French Firefighting Autos – FrenchCrazy


French Firefighting Vehicles

Picture Credit score: SDIS 66 – Guillaume Collard

French firefighters, aka pompiers, are nationally acknowledged civil servants tasked with medical and firefighting operations in France. They want specialised autos which differ in operate and dimension to realize that mission. Some time again I did an article on prehospital care and ambulances in France. Right now, we’re going to take {that a} bit additional and deal with just a few of the most typical French Firefighting autos.


VASV French Pompiers Ambulance

Le VSAV or Véhicule de Secours et d’Help aux Victimes (Sufferer rescue and help automobile) is likely one of the widespread French firefighting autos you’ll see. It’s because over 80% of a French firefighter’s duties includes responding to medical emergencies or automobile accidents.

There are two notable variations of the VSAV. The VSAV tôlé is the usual van-based ambulance. Whereas the VSAV dice is a field ambulance much like U.S. ambulances with further cabin room.

The entire ambulances have a minimum of one lateral door along with the big rear-exit doorways.

There are three or 4 French firefighters assigned to each ambulance. The ambulances are able to carrying as much as six folks: three in entrance, two within the rear and a affected person on the stretcher. The excessive capability means a SAMU / SMUR doctor may be transported together with the affected person if wanted.

The VSAV has ample space for storing to hold a primary support bag, respiratory and air flow tools, bandages / dressings / drapes, a cardiac defibrillator, transportable oxygen, blood strain tools, a pulse oximeter, a glucometer, and road-side gear for the group.


Le VSR or Véhicule de Secours Routier (Street emergency automobile) intervenes in automobile accidents. Utilizing the VSR, pompiers safe and illuminate the scene, handle the broken autos and extricate any trapped drivers.

VSR French Pompier

On each VSR you’ll discover visitors cones, lighted signage or LED projectors, automobile jacks and wedges. Firefighters may also have entry to tools particularly designed to extricate victims from a harmful scene.

The VSR comes with fireplace extinguishers to forestall an eventual fireplace. Some departments might specialize VSRs to deal with incidents inside tunnels or on railways.

Caption (above): Gear on a VSR (Supply Wikimedia)

Whereas the VSR can deal with stopping a hearth, sure fireplace vehicles are equip to deal with each giant flames and vehicular rescue on the similar time. These French firefighting autos are denoted because the fourgon pompe-tonne / secours routier (FPTSR), fourgon grand puissance secours routier (FGPSR), and fourgon de secours routier (FSR). We discuss concerning the FPT within the subsequent part.

The VSR is oftentimes staffed by three firefighters whereas the bigger fireplace vehicles (FSR / FPTSR) can accommodate as much as six.


Le FPT or Fourgon Pompe-Tonne (Water tender) is a big fireplace truck able to combatting city or rural fires. They function the spine of the firefighting effort.

The FPT comes armed with a number of hoses to propel excessive volumes of water in direction of the flame. Most sources state, at a minimal, that is 2,000 to three,000 liters per minute all the best way as much as 6,000 L/min. The hearth truck can pull water from sources over half a mile away.

FPT French Pompiers

Caption (above): French FPT from Bouzonville et Moyeuvre-Grande (Supply Youtube)

An FPT might also dispense firefighting foam at as much as 500 L/min.

The French fireplace truck comes customary with ladders, axes, flashlights, transportable O2, rescue kits, and varied different firefighting gear.

An FPT crew consists of a complete of six to eight firefighters. A kind of being the sergeant, who’s answerable for the unit, and a driver.

There exists a extra widespread variation often known as the FPTL, Fourgon Pompe-Tonne Léger, or “mild” model. This smaller tanker can have anyplace from 4 to 6 firefighters.

French FPTL

Caption (above): French FPTL from Lyon (Supply Wikimedia)


L’EPA or Échelle Pivotante Automatique (Automated pivoting ladder) represents the quintessential French fireplace engine.

The EPA employs an unlimited ladder measuring anyplace from 24 to 30 meters in size. Whereas the BEA encompasses a motorized folding ladder attainable of reaching 32m.

French Fire Engine

Caption (above): French BEA from Paris Fireplace Brigade (Supply Wikimedia)

The aim of the ladder engine is to assist fight fires from a peak. A BEA, for instance, can douse flames with 3,000 liters per minute from its hose. The ladders help with aerial reconnaissance along with rescuing folks from trapped buildings. A particular platform on a BEA can maintain as much as 5 folks.

Two or three males are wanted to workers the ladder truck: one sergeant, a driver, and an individual able to working the big ladder.


French Forest Fires

Le CCF or Camion-Citerne Feux de forêts permits French pompiers to fight forest fires on the bottom. They work together with fireplace helicopters attacking the flames from above.

First off, the automobile has improved floor clearance and enhanced 4×4 off-roading capabilities. A CCF can comprise as much as 13,000 liters of water and may pull water from distant sources (much like the FPT).

Caption (above): French CCF drawing water from close by supply (SDIS 88)

On board, you’ll discover 4 firefighters: a sergeant, a driver, and two further crew members.


VLC 85 Pompier

Le VLC or Véhicule Léger de Commandement (Mild command automobile) permits a hearth combating officer to get to the incident scene. It’s also ceaselessly used for operational, technical or administrative liaisons. Whereas bigger command autos exist, this one is for extra typical operations.

On board you’ll have a pill, maps, gasoline detection screens, and a conveyable radio.


VTPM Pompiers

Le VTU or Véhicule Tout Useage (Multi-use automobile) is a van that carries two or three firefighters to intervene in quite a lot of conditions. These vary from aiding occupants trapped in an elevator to inserting staging tarps and mats on the scene of a fireplace. The automobile might help in pruning a hazardous tree, eradicating wasp nests, aiding / capturing animals, or serving to clear chemical spills.

The firefighters will deliver the instruments wanted for the job on this specific van, however most carry a hand ladder, varied firefighting gear, cleansing supplies and safety towards hostile bugs.

A VTPM or Véhicule de Transport de Personnel et de Matériel serves as a option to deliver reinforcements or a lot wanted supplies to a scene. It features equally to a VTU. You might discover it eradicating a fallen tree from public roads or aiding in flooding or catastrophe reduction efforts. Lastly, a VTPM drives firefighters to conferences, gatherings, or particular occasions.

Different specialised autos

There’s no manner an inventory like this may be fully complete as a result of there are such a lot of variations and specialised autos.

You may have multi-role autos (e.g., VLOD), cleansing autos (e.g., VTUB), logistics autos (e.g., VLOG), restore autos (e.g., CAMAT), hazardous supplies autos, telecommunications autos, autos for divers, specialised helicopters, animal help autos, airport fireplace autos, and far more.

Nonetheless I hope this overview helps illustrate the commonest French firefighting autos and the aim behind them.

And keep in mind: to name the French firefighters, you’ll wish to dial 18 or 112 (Learn extra: Emergency Telephone Numbers in France). You’ll discover this quantity plastered on all the autos.

Official Sapeur-Pompier authorities web site [Link]
Official French Firefighters of Paris web site [Link]
Varied Blogs [Autotitre], [Elpompiero], [SDIS18], [Wikipedia]