Its important for kids to learn about the emergency services in their community, including policemen, firemen and ambulance drivers. Teaching young students about ambulances can be as simple as honing their observational skills. Tell them to pay attention the next time their parent pulls the car over to let an ambulance whizz by with sirens blazing or point one out the next time it passes your school.
Describe the function of an ambulance. Explain that they take sick or injured people to the hospital so they can get medical help. Talk about the features of an ambulance; a bed and medicine in the back, sirens to alert traffic, and the ability to drive super fast.
Show pictures from newspapers and magazines and look up images of ambulances on the Internet. If possible, show a video clip of an ambulance in motion so kids will have a good idea of what the sirens sound like. Explain how traffic law requires drivers to pull to the side of the road to let ambulances pass.
Play ambulance. Designate kids to be "patients" and other kids to be "medics." Explain an emergency scenario, like "this little girl fainted after playing too long in the hot sun without drinking any water." Pass out pretend EMT uniforms, a fake stretcher and stethoscope. Tell the kids they have to get the little girl to the hospital. Let the driver make the siren noises and let her partner sit in the back of the pretend ambulance van to monitor the patient.
Have kids draw and colour their own ambulances. Offer crossword puzzles and spelling games using words associated with ambulances, like "hurry," "emergency," "rescue," "medicine" and "revive."
Request an ambulance team come to your class or assembly and talk to kids about their job. Ask the ambulance team to explain what they like most about the work, what is the hardest part of their job and the importance of doing well in school to become an ambulance driver or EMT. Ask the team to give the students a few basic safety tips about how to avoid emergencies and what to do in case an emergency is unavoidable. At the conclusion of the assembly, allow the kids to go outside and investigate an actual ambulance truck.
Go on a field trip if you can't book a visit from the EMTs. Make an appointment to take the kids to a fire station or hospital where they can see what a real ambulance looks like. Have the kids ask questions they have prepared in advance.
Many communities hold "Touch a Truck" events where children can see an ambulance up close.
Tips and warnings
- Many communities hold "Touch a Truck" events where children can see an ambulance up close.