[Listening Medium] Emergency Call – KEY

Pre-Listening Exercise

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.”

Listening Exercise

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.