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Calling 9-1-1

In an emergency, the ability to call for help quickly and effectively can mean the difference between minor property damage and total devastation, or even between life and death. Each year, nearly 240 million emergency calls are made to 9-1-1, according to the National Emergency Number Association. Many more calls are made to other local emergency numbers in places where 9-1-1 is not available. Calling for help is a critical life skill for all adults.

The materials on this page can be used to prepare students to know how and when to call 9-1-1 or a local emergency number for assistance. The materials are intended for use with an instructor or tutor. The Calling for Help role-play script can also be adapted for adult learners to use at home with their families.

Emergency: Call for Help Lesson and Role-play Activity

Read the Emergency: Call for Help tip sheet with students. Then, complete the role play activity "Practice Calling for Help." After you have completed the activity, use the discussion questions to talk about the experience in small groups or with the entire class.

Kayla Calls for Help Story, Activities, and Answer Keys

Read with your students "Kayla Call 9-1-1," a story about a woman who calls 9-1-1 for help when her kitchen catches fire. After reading the story, students can complete the reading comprehension questions, self-assessment, and word search. The answer keys for each activity are included in the pdf.

Should You Call for Help? Activity and Answer Key

Use this activity to talk about when it is appropriate to call 9-1-1 or a local emergency number for help. Notebook Readers: This pdf includes the extended answer key for the activity included in the Notebook article. The rationale provided for each answer can be used to expand the discussion about why the student should or should not call 9-1-1 in the scenario presented.

Sample Emergency Calls

Listen to the sample calls below with students before completing the Call for Help role-play activity. Emergency Communications may vary from location to location. These calls were recorded at the Onondaga County 911 Center in Syracuse, NY. Contact the Department of Emergency Communications in your area for scripts that are specific to your area.

Thanks to PSD Tim Ellis and the entire Onondaga County Department of Emergency Communications for their help with production!