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999 Text Service to Assist Hill Walkers

This is not new "news" but I wonder how many Challengers are aware of it?

From the Mountaineering Council of Scotland's website:

Mobile phone reception in the Highlands can often be intermittent or non-existent. If you are involved in an incident on the hill and need to call assistance but cannot make voice calls, you may now contact the 999 emergency services using a short messaging service (SMS) text from your mobile phone.

The service was originally set up in 2009 for people who are hard of hearing or who have a speech impediment. The service has been successful in helping identify crime and enabling emergency calls to be made when otherwise contact would have been difficult or impossible for the people involved.

The service will now assist those needing emergency assistance in the hills when mobile reception is poor and there is not enough signal to make a voice call. The benefit is that a text message can be composed and sent in a single operation. You should specify 'Police-Mountain Rescue' when sending the text, and include information about your location, nature of the incident and those involved.

You will only be able to use this service if you have registered with emergency SMS first. Register now: don't wait for an emergency. To register, text the word 'register' to 999. You will get a reply - then follow the instructions you are sent. This will only take approx two minutes of your time and could save your life!

Emergency SMS website: http://www.emergencysms.org.uk/

Re: 999 Text Service to Assist Hill Walkers

This is true and sending "Register" to 999 will work, but has just been superceded by 112, which is how mine has been registered.

Re: 999 Text Service to Assist Hill Walkers

This is terrific. In my other life I do substantial work with Disability Alliance UK, and they strongly promote this service.

Many times whilst there's no full-on voice coverage you can still get a SMS through.

Some of this is to do with your carrier - Vodaphone have by far the best coverage, particularly in the Western Highlands, since they are the carrier of choice for Search-and-Rescue. In my own experience since 2001 I've on multiple occasions gotten a Vodaphone signal whereas my companions on other networks have been unable to connect.

Worried souls might want to look into a SIM-only Vodaphone deal for the Challenge tranche. You can just throw it away afterwards. Or leave it at The Park - c/o The House of Forgotten Dreams.

Re: 999 Text Service to Assist Hill Walkers

It looks like you only have to register for the SMS service using either 999 or 112, not both

Here's a link to a forum where someone tested registering with both
http://www.caravantalk.co.uk/community/topic/76786-the-secrets-of-using-112-on-a-mobile-phone-in-an-emergencyaccident/page-2 (see sixth post)

From what I can see 999/112 are treated the same by the phone companies in the UK and are interchangeable

Re: 999 Text Service to Assist Hill Walkers

Absolutely correct Robin, I think the 112 number has been launched to take the pressure off 999.

From those in the know, from the emergency services there is agreement between all network providers that transmissions on the emergency number will be accepted by all providers regardless of your what your own network provider is.

So that is all good!

Re: 999 Text Service to Assist Hill Walkers

112 is the standardised EU emergency number and recognised in many other countries like the US and runs alongside country specific emergency numbers like 999 and 911

Mobile Phone Location

On the subject of emergencies using a mobile phone.
I attended a first aid course recently given by Phil Glennie who also works with the Braemar mountain rescue and he told us the following.
If you declare an emergency with your mobile phone don't be tempted to switch it off to save power. With only one mast picking up your signal they can establish your direction and distance thereby locating your position. I think this takes a little time and requires someone to request it but it means that even if you don't know where you are, they can find you. Reasuring to know.


Re: Mobile Phone Location

Hope this works- I found this very informative


Re: 999 Text Service to Assist Hill Walkers

Thanks Alan, that is very useful intel .
Hope to see you on the crossing.
Best wishes