Ministère de l’Intérieur – Direction Générale de la Sécurité Civile et de la Gestion des Crises (France)

In France, the State is responsible for ensuring the coherence of Civil Protection at the national level.

The Civil Protection Modernization Act No. 2004-811 of 13 August 2004 rules civil protection in France.

The decree enacted of 23 August 2011 defines the organization and powers of the General Directorate for Civil Protection and Crisis Management (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Civile et de la Gestion des Crises – DGSCGC in French).

The DGSCGC is composed of a Crisis Planning and Management Service (Interdepartmental Crisis Management Operational Centre (ICMOC); a Sub-Directorate of Crisis Preparedness and a Sub-Directorate of National Resources; a Directorate for Fire Brigade (with a Sub-Directorate for Doctrine and Human Resources) and a Sub-Directorate for International Affairs, Resources and Strategy.

In addition, the Interdepartmental Crisis Management Operational Centre (COGIC in French) supports the civil protection system by: informing the Minister of the Interior; coordinating civil security crises involving several areas; managing an inter-ministerial crisis unit during crisis; sending national means; being the national contact point for the Union Civil Protection Mechanism; and defining national emergency regulations (training, planning, operations).

The DGSCGC’s main missions are to implement the Civil Security policy, to coordinate crisis management policy, to draw up regulations, legal framework and doctrines, to manage the Fire brigades and to supervise the National Higher School for Fire Brigade Officers. It is also in charge of managing the SDIS (Fire and Rescue Departmental Services) network. 

The operational chain of the rescue services is composed of the mayor (responsible for safeguarding the population); the prefect, director of rescue operations, in the event of a disaster at the departmental level; the zone prefect for the coordination of zonal resources; and, for national resources, the Minister of the Interior and the President of the Republic.

The DGSCGC has at its disposal: the Civil Security Military Formations (FORMISC) are composed of 1401 soldiers and 3 training and intervention units; air assets (3 dashes; 12 Canadair; 8 trackers and 3 Beechcraft King Air 200); 343 demining experts; and 3 operational and logistical support facilities and 62 officers.

In addition, there are 246,500 firefighters in France, 79% of whom are volunteers; 5% are military firefighters and 16% are professional firefighters. Since September 2019 Prefect Alain Thirion is Head of the DGSCGC.

Ministère de l’Intérieur – DGSCGC web site