Military Wiki
Brigade de sapeurs-pompiers de Paris
BSPP section Bastille Day 2008
Firemen of the Paris brigade at the 2008 Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Élysées, Paris.
Active 1793–present
Country Flag of France France
Branch French Army
Type Firemen
Size 8,340
Motto(s) "Sauver ou périr" (Save or Perish)
Colors Red & black
French fire engine parading DSC00870

Fire engine of the Brigade des sapeurs-pompiers de Paris parading

The Paris Fire Brigade (French Brigade des sapeurs-pompiers de Paris, BSPP), is a French Army unit which serves as the fire service for Paris and certain sites of national strategic importance. The brigade's main area of responsibility is the City of Paris and the surrounding départements of Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, and Hauts-de-Seine. It also serves the Centre Spatial Guyanais in Kourou, the Military Rocket Test Centre in Biscarosse, and the gas plant of Lacq-Artix. The other departments of metropolitan Paris have their own fire brigades. The brigade is a unit of the French Army's Engineering Arm (Génie) and the firefighters are therefore sappers (sapeurs, thus sapeurs-pompiers). With 8,550 firemen, it is the largest fire brigade in Europe and the third largest urban fire service in the world, after the Tokyo Fire Department and New York City Fire Department. The brigade is placed at the disposal of the Paris Prefecture of Police in an arrangement similar to that of the French Gendarmerie. Its motto is "Save or Perish" (French "Sauver ou périr").

Another military force responsible for firefighting in France is the Marseille Naval Fire Battalion (BMPM). The remainder of France has civilian fire and rescue services (services départementaux d'incendie et de secours). See: Fire service in France


As any French firefighter, their missions are

  1. Fire Suppression
  2. Emergency Basic Life Support ambulance
  3. Utility Safety – Gas Leaks et al.
  4. Personal Assistance – Victims services, SAR lost persons
  5. Motor vehicle collision response
  6. Protection of beings
  7. Patrol, Reconnaissance and Research
  8. Animal rescue
  9. Pollution control and HAZMAT Response
  10. Alarm response

They defend Paris and its "little crown" (close suburbs), but also specific sites:

  • Guiana Space Centre of Kourou Guyane
  • test field for missiles in Biscarosse
  • site for extraction and processing of natural gas in Lacq-Artix


Brigade de sapeurs-pompiers de Paris, État-major, Place Jules-Renard

The Fire Brigade's headquarters in Paris

Founded in 1793 as the Corps des gardes-pompes de la ville de Paris and following the 23 hour Austrian Embassy Fire in 1810 became a military organisation by imperial decree by Emperor Napoléon. On 18 September 1811, it became the Bataillon de sapeurs-pompiers de Paris and was expanded to the Régiment de sapeurs-pompiers de Paris in 1867. On 1 March 1967 became the Brigade des sapeurs-pompiers de Paris.

Selection and instruction[]

The operational personnel (hommes du rang i.e. privates) are usually engaged for five years. They must have French nationality, be between 18 and 25 years old, have a clean criminal record and have at least a vocational training certificate (CAP). The selection is three days long, with sports tests, psychomotor tests, medical examination, etc.

Training takes place in the Instruction Grouping (Groupement d'instruction, GI), at the fort of Villeneuve-Saint-Georges. The first period lasts two months, with the first aid and first responder training, and basic military instruction (including shooting).

The sapper then undertakes practical training of four months in an operational fire company (compagnie d'incendie); he takes part in personal assistance and utility safety operations.

The sapper then returns to the Instruction Grouping for two further months for his fire training. He is then permanently attached to a fire company.


BSPP flag Bastille Day 2008

Firemen of the Paris brigade, Bastille Day 2008 military parade on the Champs-Élysées, Paris.

The BSPP consists of 8,340 personnel who man 81 stations and facilities who conduct 1200 operations daily.

  • 463 pieces of equipment
    • 130 Pumpers
    • 63 Aerial Devices
    • 66 Ambulances
    • 71 Command and Patrol vehicles
    • 133 Special Engines
      • Fireboats
      • All terrain vehicles
      • Four wheel drives

Corporate Organisation[]

General Bernard Périco BSPP p1040756

Gen. Bernard Périco, as of 2014 commanding officer of the Paris Fire Brigade

The brigade is commanded by a Brigade General as part of the French Army's engineering arm. The brigade commander directly controls the Information and Public Relations Bureau, and who is assisted a Colonel-Adjutant, a General Council called a Cabinet and a Chief of Staff who controls the following Bureaus:

  • General Studies Bureau
  • Financial Programs and Budget Bureau

and three Assistant Chiefs of Staff:

  • Assistant Chief for Employment
    • Operations Bureau
    • Formation and Instruction Bureau
    • Prevention Bureau
  • Assistant Chief for Logistics
    • Techniques Service
    • Infrastructure Service
    • Administrative Service
    • Telecommunications and Information Service
  • Assistant Chief for Human Resources
    • Human resources Bureau
    • Personnel Welfare Bureau
  • Chief Doctor
    • Emergency medical service/SAMU
    • Chief of the Health Service

Field Organisation[]

  • First fire group – Northeast Paris and Seine-Saint-Denis
  • Second fire group – Southeast Paris and Val-de-Marne
  • Third fire group – west Paris and Hauts-de-Seine

each contains eight Fire companies and an Emergency medical service

  • Instructions group
  • Services group

First fire group (Premier groupement d'incendie)[]

Véhicule Iveco Poste de Commandement PC12 des pompiers de Paris.

Mobile HQ of Paris firemen in action.

The First fire group of the Paris Fire Brigade covers Northeast Paris and Seine-Saint-Denis and is Headquartered at:

  • 12 rue Carpeaux 75018 Paris tel:

and consist of the following units:

  • Fire Group Staff
  • Facilities (Maintenance) Group

and 8 Fire Companies (CEI)

  • 7th at Blanche
  • 9th at Montmartre
  • 10th at Landon
  • 12th at Ménilmontant
  • 13th at Aulnay-sous-Bois
  • 14th at Clichy-sous-Bois
  • 24th at Montreuil
  • 26th at Saint-Denis

Second fire group (Deuxième groupement d'incendie)[]

IVECO camion à Pompiers à Paris

Iveco fire apparatus in Paris.

The Second Fire Group of the Paris Fire Brigade covers Southeast Paris and Val-de-Marne and is Headquartered at:

  • 16 avenue Boutroux 75013 Paris Tel:

and consist of the following:

  • Fire Group Staff
  • Facilities (Maintenance) Group

and 8 Fire Companies (CEI)

  • 1st at Chaligny
  • 2nd at Massena
  • 8th at Rousseau
  • 11th at Sévigné
  • 15th at Champigny
  • 17th at Créteil
  • 22nd at Rungis
  • 23rd at Saint-Maur

Third fire group (Troisième groupement d'incendie)[]

Camion Renault Midliner CA20 des pompiers de Paris.

Fire support truck near Champerret HQ.

The Third Fire Group of the Paris Fire Brigade covers Western Paris and Hauts-de-Seine and is Headquartered at:

  • 14 rue Henry Regnault 92400 Courbevoie. Telephone:

and consists of the following units:

  • Fire Group Staff
  • Atelier Group

and 8 Fire Companies:

  • 3rd at Port Royal
  • 4th at Colombier
  • 5th at Champerret
  • 6th at Grenelle
  • 16th at Boulogne
  • 21st at Plessis Clamart
  • 27th at Gennevilliers
  • 28th at Puteaux

Instructions Group (Groupement d'instruction)[]

Peugeot 308 SPVL921 des pompiers de Paris

Peugeot 308 serial SPVL921.

The Instructions Group of the Paris Fire Brigade provides education and training to all Paris firefighters. It consists of the following:

  • Group Staff
  • Center for Formation and Cadres
  • Center for the Instruction of Recruits
    • Basic Training Company
    • Auto School, driving and repairs
  • Support Company

Special Services[]

Renault Mascott des plongeurs des pompiers de Paris et son canot Sillinger sur remorque Porte à flot.

Renault Mascott light truck of the Scuba unit of Paris firemen.

Controlled by Headquarters

  • Divers/SCUBA
  • Search and Rescue
  • Canine Service
  • Music
  • Gymnastic Team
  • Air Service
  • Boat Service


The BSPP has about 1 200 interventions per day. In 2001:

  • 1st fire group: 163 081 interventions amongst which 9 606 fires;
  • 2nd fire group: 136 078 interventions amongst which 5 583 fires;
  • 3rd fire group: 150 376 interventions amongst which 5 234 incendies.

There are 6,16 million inhabitants in the BSPP zone (1999). This represents:

  • per day: 19 interventions per 100 000 inhabitants;
  • per year: 7 300 interventions per 100 000 inhab., amongst which 331 fires per 100 000 inhab.

Hazing rape in May 2012[]

In May 2012, thirteen Paris firefighters were arrested after a recruit claimed he was raped in an initiation ceremony filmed with a telephone.[1]

See also[]

  • Fire brigade
  • Police Nationale
  • Sapeurs-pompiers


External links[]

All or a portion of this article consists of text from Wikipedia, and is therefore Creative Commons Licensed under GFDL.
The original article can be found at Paris Fire Brigade and the edit history here.