You will need
Before you begin
- The person leading the activity should cut out the Emergency bingo cards from the Emergency bingo sheet. There should be one card per person.
- The person leading the activity should cut out the Emergency guess who cards from the Emergency guess who sheet. There should be one set of cards per group.
Run the activity
- Everyone should get into pairs. If there is an odd number of people, one team can form a group of three. The person leading the activity should hand out the Emergency bingo cards and pens or pencils. Each person should now have one card and a partner.
- In their pairs, everyone should cross off the squares on the bingo cards that apply to them (eg if a police officer came around after a burglary at their house, they can cross off ‘I’ve been helped by a member of the emergency services’). When each person in each pair has crossed off all of the squares that apply to them, they should swap cards with their partner. They should then cross off all the unfilled squares that apply to them on the new card, as they did with their own card. If anyone has crossed off all of the squares on the card they are holding, they should shout ‘Bingo!’
- In their pairs, everyone should discuss the reason for their experience with the emergency services, if they’re comfortable doing so. The person leading the activity should go among the pairs and encourage them to talk about the different kinds of emergencies that have come up. See if anyone can describe how the situation was resolved.
- Everyone should now get into larger groups. Ideally, there should now be no more than three groups in the activity. The person leading the activity should give out one set of the Emergency guess who cards to each group.
- One person in each group should pick a card at random. That person should mime an action, make noises or say clues about who or what is on the card, without showing it to the group or saying any of the words written on the card. The group must try to guess what’s on the card. When they guess correctly, another person in the group must pick a card and repeat the process. The groups should try and do this at the same time, so that they can race one another. The first group to guess all seven cards wins.
- In their groups, everyone should discuss the people on the cards. The person leading the activity should go among the groups and encourage them to talk about how you might contact one of these people in an emergency, or what might happen if these people weren’t available.
- Explain to the groups that very often, the first person to arrive on the scene of an emergency may not be a member of the emergency services. They could be the person who dials 999, someone who knows first aid or someone who comforts or helps a person in distress. Each group should think of an emergency situation (eg a fire). The person leading the activity should give each group a pen and some paper. The groups should write down what they could do before, during and after that emergency to help.
This activity helps contribute towards some of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Find out more about the SDGs, and how Scouts across the world are getting involved, here.
The group has played some games to help them think about emergencies and emergency services. Why is it important to know the telephone number (999) to dial in an emergency? When should you call? Did you know that there’s also non-emergency numbers that you can call? These are 111 for medical assistance that isn’t urgent and 101 for police assistance that isn't urgent. Why might they need this different number and how might this help the emergency services serve the community?
When they played bingo, some members of the group might have talked about times where they interacted with the emergency services or were involved in an emergency. Was it tough to know how to react in such a scenario? Who kept cool and got help? Who did something that helped someone else until the emergency services arrived? What’ll you do if something like this happens again?
Make it accessible
All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.