Skip to Content

French firefighters in Paris. Wikipedia

Attacks on French emergency workers reach record levels

French emergency workers have been facing a rising number of attacks while on duty. 

Published: August 22, 2019, 9:34 am

    Over the weekend in Aix-en-Provence, firefighters were trying to resuscitate an 80 year-old man in the Jas-de-Bouffan neighbourhood, when the two emergency workers were tipped-off that their emergency vehicle was being stolen.

    The campus in the neighbourhood houses the Institute of Research and Studies on the Arab and Muslim World (IREMAM) Aix-en-Provence,  a multidisciplinary center of research on Arab culture.

    The firefighters eventually found their vehicle, some 20 metres away from the scene, severly damaged.

    On Saturday, in the immigrant city of Noisy-le-Roi near Paris, a 15-year-old assaulted the emergency crew who had come to his aid. The youth’s mother had called in an emergency after the teenager drank a mixture of pills and alcohol.

    When the three emergency workers arrived, the youngster assaulted them, threatening to ”kill them”. Two of the three men suffered cuts and bruises to their faces and were unable to continue working for six and 10 days respectively. The youth was held in custody after being admitted to hospital.

    In Calvi, on the island of Corsica, a firefighter was attacked by a man he was rescuing. The emergency worker had to admitted to intensive care with eight stitches to his head.

    Since 2017, emergency crews have seen a rise of 23 percent in the number of assaults during their interventions. To address the problem, a decree was issued last month allowing crews to wear cameras to film interventions.

    “The population is being abandoned. Emergency services cannot meet people’s needs anymore and emergency workers are the last link in this chain,” André Goretti, president of firefighters’ union the Fédération autonome des sapeurs-pompiers professionnels, told FranceInfo.

    Goretti added: ”We need to provide an adequate response [for each intervention], but it takes time because we have fewer human resources. We take longer to intervene and people are getting irritated.

    “When they feel like the response is not appropriate, they take it out on emergency crews.”

    At the end of June this year, first responders called for a strike, denouncing the difficult and dangerous conditions they have to face daily. These included not only insufficient staffing but also the rising risk of assault.

    In 2018, a report by the National Crime Observatory showed the dramatic increase: The number of emergency workers who claim to have been assaulted, had risen by 23 percent from the previous year.

    A total of 2 813 first responders said that they had been victims of an attack in 2018. More worrying, is that the number had jumped by 213 percent in 10 years.

    Also, and contrary to popular belief, relay antennas do not allow an ideal geolocation. There are more reliable technologies available these days, but France does not use automatic geolocation which could would make it easier for responders to enter certain no-go zones.

    With the current device, the perimeter to locate a call is on average two kilometers. In 2019, it is shocking to learn that we can still die for lack of a sharp localization” Benoit Vivier, from the European Emergency Association Association (EENA), told FranceInter. They are struggling to improve the functioning and coordination emergency rescue services in Europe.

    The Advanced Mobile rental (AML), founded in 2014, is a technology that automatically geotags a person who calls for help . This feature – which operates without internet – is integrated into Android and Apple phones. Once the location is established, an SMS is sent to the emergency service with the position in a radius of about twenty meters.

    The AML is active in about fifteen countries (also in Moldova), and 10 in the European Union, including Austria, Belgium, Ireland and the United Kingdom. France and Italy do not have this choice.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    European Court of Justice sets new obstacles for deportation

    The latest judgment by the European Court of Justice (file number C-517/17 ), which was published on July 16, received little media attention. This decision calls into question the European asylum system.

    Movie ‘Shugaley-2’ outlines real threats for both East and West

    Despite a long period of lock-down nearly all over the world, the speed of geopolitical processes have not slowed down, nor have the attempts to reflect and analyze them through documentaries and movies based on true stories.

    Poland plans to withdraw from Istanbul Convention

    WarsawEven if the political debate over The Istanbul Convention is also a uniquely Polish debate about the conservative orientation of the country's domestic politics, the criticism against this Convention is more than justified.

    ‘I am disgusted with Bordeaux, we are no longer safe here’

    BordeauxAfter he was attacked and stripped of his belongings by an organised gang, a Bordeaux journalist gave a distraught view of his city, which he says he no longer recognizes. Residents report thefts and violent attacks on a daily basis. The mayor is worried about a "climate emergency" however.

    Sweden: Somali rammed group after he was reported for child molestation

    BörlangeThe Somali taxi driver in the Swedish town of Borlänge who ran down a group of pedestrians recently, wanted to take revenge on his intended victim because the person had reported him for child molestation.

    Sweden: Immigrant child rapist commits 600 crimes – avoids deportation

    In May, the immigrant Bekim Dzelili was initially sentenced by the district court to 13 years in prison and deportation for life. He was found guilty of repeated aggravated child rape, the aggravated sexual abuse of a child, assault and unlawful threats. But the Swedish Court of Appeal has since reduced his prison sentence by one year and has canceled the deportation - the perpetrator may remain in Sweden because he has a "weak connection to his home country".

    Lampedusa: Landings intensify with migrants testing positive for Covid-19

    RomeImages of an illegal migrant landing that took place on 28 July on the most popular beach among shocked tourists and holiday makers, was broadcast by Italian CorriereTV. But the government is instead concerned about the politician who had tried to stop these illegal landings.

    Video: Sweden has knife violence, name changes, culture wars and a housing shortage

    Sweden used to be a 'model society'. But no more.

    German churches celebrate migrant crisis as a success

    MunichThe two large churches in Germany have drawn a positive interim assessment of the 2015 wave of migrants. Around half of those who came at the time are being trained or have jobs today, said the Council President of the Evangelical Church in Germany, Heinrich Bedford-Strohm.

    Erdogan and Islam: Religion as Trojan Horse for political influence in Germany

    IstanbulYesterday, the first official Islamic Friday prayer took place at the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. The controversy of the re-conversion of the former Christian Orthodox cathedral into a mosque is also hotly being discussed in Europe.

    Go to archive