Have you ever needed roadside assistance? What kinds of situations do you think of when you hear the words “emergency call”? What emergency or survival supplies (including 72-hour kits) might be useful in such situations? Write down three ideas and discuss them with a partner.
“get back on one’s feet” = recover physically, emotionally, or financially
“He lost everything in the accident, but he’s slowly getting back on his feet.”
“hit the ceiling” = get very angry
“My dad hit the ceiling when he found out I wrecked the car.”
A. Listen to the recording and answer the questions.
Operator: Hello. This is the emergency 911 operator.
Taxi Driver: Help. Help. Please help me!
Operator: Yes sir. Please calm down and explain exactly what is happening.
Taxi Driver: Calm down! My car is stalled on the freeway, I have a lady passenger, and she’s going into labor.
Operator: Now relax sir. Explain exactly where you are.
Taxi Driver: I’m . . . I’m in the southbound lane of the Lincoln Expressway, about 15 miles from the Washington Tunnel, and this lady isn’t going to wait.
Operator:Okay. What’s your name sir and your passenger’s?
Taxi Driver: It’s … it’s Bob, and I have no idea about the woman. She’s in no condition to tell me.
Operator: Okay, now what’s the nearest landmark to your location? Pay careful attention.
Taxi Driver: Umm, I see golden arches . . . McDonalds.
Operator: Okay, is there anyone else with you?
Taxi Driver: No, and I’ve tried to get someone else to stop. [The sound of a bottle breaking.]
Operator: Hey, what was that? [Ahhhh!]
Taxi Driver: Ah, someone threw a bottle at me. How soon can someone get here?
Operator: I’ve just dispatched an ambulance to your location. They should be there any second.
Taxi Driver: Hey, is there anything I can do while we wait for the ambulance?
Operator: Yes, uh, keep her calm and warm.
Taxi Driver: Okay. Please hurry. Oh, they’re too late. It’s a boy!
Vocabulary and Sample Sentences
- calm down (verb): relax
– The police officer tried to calm down the angry crowd.
- stalled (verb): to stop, often due to mechanical problems
– The small plane’s engine stalled as it passed through a terrible rain storm.
- landmark (noun): an object, such as a building, that marks a location
– The lighthouse on the tip of the bay is a famous landmark in this town.
- dispatched (verb): to send off
– A fire engine was dispatched five minutes ago to respond to the fire.