I. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]

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.

HELPFUL TIP: Consider getting Road Side Assistance coverage like AAA in case your car breaks down. Companies will often side someone out to your car 24 hours a day.

II. Listening Exercises [Top]

First, listen to the telephone conversation by pressing the “Play Audio” button, and answer the questions. Press the “Final Score” button to check your quiz.

1. The man who is calling is:

A. a taxi driver

B. a bus driver

C. a truck driver
2. What is the problem with the woman with him?

A. She is having a heart attack.

B. She was hurt in an accident.

C. She is having a baby.

3. Where is the man now?

A. on the freeway

B. downtown in traffic

C. in the airport parking lot

4. What’s the man’s name?

A. Bill

B. Bob

C. Brad

5. The operator tells the man to:

A. help the woman breath easier.

B. keep the woman calm and warm.

C. put something soft under the woman’s head.

Score =

Correct answers:

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 you name sir and your passanger’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!

Key Vocabulary [Top]
  • 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.