This lesson’s about how to make English emergency calls such as a 911 or 112 call.
You’ll learn how to report an emergency in English and how to report your location to get help fast.
We give examples of different emergencies you might need to report like:
– Someone’s choked on some food
– I think someone’s trying to break into my home
– There’s been a car accident
– Someone’s walked into a glass window
We also look at questions response workers typically ask such as:
– Are they male or female?
– How old is he?
– Is he conscious?
– Is he breathing?
Finally we’ll show you an English emergency call so you can see some of the phrases in action.
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How to report an emergency in English
Hi. I’m Vicki and you’re going to learn some words and phrases that we hope you’ll never need!
And I’m Jay and this lesson is really important. It’s vocabulary you must learn, just in case.
If there’s an emergency, what number do you dial for help?
In the US it’s 911.
And in the UK it’s 999 or 112. It’s 112 in most European countries.
Emergency numbers are generally short – usually just three numbers.
So you can remember them and dial them quickly.
They’ll connect you to the service you need, like ambulance, police or fire.
What’s your emergency?
What emergency are you reporting?
What service do you need? Ambulance, police or fire brigade?
What do we call the people who answer the phones?
Well, they have several names. They’re operators because they operate the phones.
Or responders because they answer questions and do things.
Or dispatchers because they send people to help.
My husband has choked on some food and he’s not breathing.
Help! My house is on fire.
I think someone’s trying to break into my home.
My son walked into a glass window and cut his head.
There’s a guy in Falworth Park who needs help. I think he’s having a heart attack.
There’s been a car accident on Ridge Pike.
In emergency calls, it’s crucial to state your location – to tell the dispatchers where you are.
Location is the most important thing. If they don’t know where you are, they can’t send help.
What’s your location?
What’s the address?
What’s the address of the emergency?
Where are you exactly?
Give any useful information you can about location.
You need to be exact and as helpful as possible.
It’s 4 Vandyke Street and we’re in flat 6 on the second floor.
It’s the building on the corner, with two big antennas.
You might be able to name a local landmark or nearby business.
We’re in front of the Philadelphia art museum.
We’re across the road from the Bagel Factory.
The address is really crucial, so the dispatchers will want to check they’ve got it right.
Can you repeat it to make sure I have it correctly?
So the address is 20 Vandyke Street? That’s where we’re going, right?
Once they have the address they can send help. But stay on the line so they can collect more information.
If someone is hurt or injured, they’ll ask you about the patient.
Is the patient male or female?
How old is he?
You might not know the patients’ age and that’s all right. You can make a rough guess.
She’s a young teenager.
Oh, he’s middle-aged.
She looks like she’s in her late twenties.
Two more important questions are ‘are they conscious?’ and ‘are they breathing?’
Conscious means awake and able to understand what’s happening.
And breathing means taking air into the lungs and sending it out again.
Is he conscious?
Is she awake?
Is he breathing?
Does she appear to be breathing?
Is he fully alert?
If you’re alert, you can think quickly and clearly, so you know what’s happening.
The responders may also want information about the accident and what’s happening now.
Tell me exactly what happened?
What’s happening now?
Are you with the patient right now?
Are you alone?
Is anyone helping?
Is someone giving first aid?
Is anyone giving CPR?
First aid is simple medical treatment that we give to people before a doctor comes.
CPR is the abbreviation for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It’s when you press on someone’s chest to keep them alive if they’ve stopped breathing or if their heart has stopped beating.
The emergency service might want you to stay and help.
And then they’ll give you instructions.
An English emergency call
My co-worker fell off a ladder and he’s bleeding.
Where are you?
We’re at the construction site at 20th and Arch.
So the address is 20th and Arch? Is that where we’re going?
Yes. The south west corner. We’re on the first floor.
The south west corner of 20th and Arch. First floor. Is that right?
How old is your co-worker?
He’s about fifty. Please come quick.
Help is on the way. They’ll be with you shortly. Is he conscious?
Is he breathing?
Is he breathing, Mike?….
Yes. he’s breathing.
Is someone with you?
Yes, my supervisor Mike is here.
He’s coming round.
He’s coming around.
So the patient is conscious?
Yes, but he needs stitches.
Is there serious bleeding?
Yes, from his head.
Is there blood spurting out or pouring out?
OK. Don’t move him unless it’s absolutely necessary. Tell him to sit still and wait for help to arrive.
Tell him to sit still, Mike. Is anyone coming?
Yes, help is on the way.
Coming around means becoming conscious again.
So you’re unconscious and then you come round or come to. It means become conscious.
We saw a lot of blood there.
Blood is the red liquid that flows through your body.
If blood is spurting, it’s coming from an artery. The heart pumps blood through arteries.
And if blood is pouring, it’s probably coming from a vein, and it’s on its way back to the heart.
When you lose blood, you bleed. So bleed is the verb. Bleed, bled, bled.
He was bleeding from a wound in his head. A wound is an injury where there’s a hole in your skin.
And a stitch is a short piece of thread that doctors use to sew the edges of a wound together.
I’m going to give you some instructions to control the bleeding, so listen carefully.
Do you have a clean dry towel or cloth?
Mike does, yes.
Place it on the wound and press down firmly. Don’t lift it up to look.
Hold it down on the wound, Mike. Press it firmly. Don’t lift it up.
If he becomes less awake and vomits, quickly turn him on his side.
OK. Help is on the way?
Yes, they’ll be with you in just a minute.
Oh, I can hear them. Thank you, thank you so much.
To vomit means to be sick. To bring up your food.
We’ve made another video about that and other sickness vocabulary.
I’ll put the link here.
And another thing you heard was a siren.
Ambulances, police cars and fire engines all have sirens. [makes the noise]
No that’s a British siren. An American one goes [makes the noise]
And that’s it everyone!
Are we finished?
But there’s one more thing we should mention. Don’t call the emergency services unless you really need them!
Don’t make calls that waste their time.
Only call if it’s an emergency.
It’s got to be something where you need help right way.
A medical emergency or immediate danger.
We hope that never happens to you!
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See you next week, bye-bye.
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