No matter where you are, you need to know what to do in an emergency! If English isn’t your first language, it’s important to know what words to use when there is an emergency like a fire, or if you need to go to the hospital or report a crime to the police. In this vocabulary lesson, I’ll teach you lots of words related to emergencies. Don’t panic!!!
EMERGENCY Vocabulary in English video
Hi, there. I’m Ronnie. I’m going to teach you something very important today, as I always do, about life. What to do in an emergency situation? These can be very serious. A lot of people say, “Don’t panic.” Well, guess what? If my house is on fire, I’m going to panic. But the thing to do is to remain calm. I’m not going to be calm. I’m going to panic. And the very first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to pick up my phone. And because I live in Canada — even if I lived in America — I would dial 911. 911 will direct you to the emergency operator. If you are living in Britain or in the UK, the code is 999. If you live in Australia and you’re on a home phone or a landline, the number is 000. And strangely enough, if you have a cell phone or a mobile phone in Australia, you’re going to do 112. You’re going to dial 112. In New Zealand, the code is different. New Zealand is 111. Apparently, if you call 000 in New Zealand, it tells you, “Please hang up and dial 111” while your house is burning down. “We are sorry.” I hope you don’t die. So these numbers are really important for you to remember depending on where you live.
I’m sure that your country, maybe, has an emergency call number depending on what country you live in. I obviously don’t know all the countries’ code numbers, but it’s going to be probably a three-digit number, and it’s probably something that’s hopefully easy to remember.
So as I said, when you call these numbers, you’re going to get an operator. And the operator is going to say, “Fire, ambulance, or police?” What’s “ambulance”? “Fire” we all know. “Fire” is when your house is burning down, and you’re running for your life. If you say “fire”, you’re going to be directed to the fire department, and they’re going to roll out the firetruck. A “firetruck” is a huge, usually red or brightly-colored truck that has a siren that goes “woo”. I can’t do the siren. Every country’s emergency vehicles have different sirens. It’s very important as well, when you’re driving that if you hear a siren, you must stop and pull over to the side of the road. If you — oh, they’re coming. I hear them now. If you do not pull over and stop, you will get a ticket because — they’re going to stop their fire truck and give you a ticket. No, they’re not. It’s illegal. It means when you hear a siren and you’re driving, you must pull your car over so the emergency vehicle can get through.
So the firetruck is the big, beautiful, red truck that all the children love. And in the firetrucks, there are what we call “firefighters” or a firefighter. Predominantly, I would wager a guess that 90 percent of firefighters are men. The reason being, apparently, is that women — no. Let’s rephrase that. You have to be strong enough to be able to lift up a person, put them on your back, and run with them. Obviously, women can do this and are strong enough, but it seems to be a male-dominated occupation. So most of the time, we would see “firemen” or plural — sorry. “Fireman” in the singular or plural “firemen”. Easier, you can just say “firefighters”.
The next one is if you have an accident — let’s say that you hurt yourself. You broke some bones. Or someone is having a heart attack. Maybe you saw a car accident. Maybe you’re in a car accident. Please don’t be in a car accident. If you’re able, you can dial 911, and you would ask for the ambulance. Some people would call an ambulance “emergency car”, but the proper name is “ambulance”. When you call an ambulance, it will take you to the hospital. And they’ll take you to the emergency or the urgent care department. If you are not in an ambulance, you can still go to these departments, but if you arrive in an ambulance, you will be the first person seen in the hospital. As a side note, if you call an ambulance and it is not an emergency — like, you broke your nail or something — you will be charged a lot of money if it is a false alarm or if you do not really need an ambulance.
The last one is “police”. So the operator will say, “Fire, ambulance, or police?” Police are supposed to help you if you witness a crime or you’re involved in a crime. For example, if someone is trying to rob you or you see a robbery, someone is — god forbid — getting murdered or if you’re witness to a murderer.
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