The emergencySMS service was originally developed to help deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired people make emergency calls to 999. Instead of calling 999, an SMS text message is sent and then relayed through the Text Relay 18000 service. A relay assistant will speak the emergency SMS message to the 999 advisor and then send their reply back you.

Why I hear you ask is this of relevance to us in walking in the mountains? Well as you’ll know if you’ve spent time hiking in the hills around the UK, you very often have poor or even no mobile signal for long periods of time. This makes it difficult to call for help if an emergency arises. However an SMS text message can usually be sent with very little phone signal making the emergencySMS an essential service for anyone exploring the UKs mountains.

The service works throughout the UK on all mobile networks and is free to use. You must, however, register with emergencySMS before being able to use the service. Don’t wait for an emergency – register now!

All you have to do to register with the emergencySMS service is:

text 'register' to 999

… then follow the instructions you are sent. It’s that easy so do it right now!

If an emergency arises when you’re in the mountains and struggling for phone signal, you simply send an SMS text message to 999 with the following information:

  • Who?
    Police, Ambulance, Fire and Rescue, Coastguard or Mountain Rescue
  • What?
    Briefly, what is the problem.
  • Where?
    Exactly where the problem is happening. Try to give an Ordnance Survey grid reference if possible. Find out more about What to do if something goes wrong up a mountain?