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Text 999 Service, a life saver in remote environments

By MWIS ambassador, Cory Jones

Yes, you can send a text to 999 in an emergency but why would you want to?

·       In a remote environment in the mountains for example you may not be able to make a phone call but you may be able to send a text as they need less bandwidth to be sent. The problem with calls is that you need to ensure you'll have proper reception during the length of the call. Sometimes signal quality is simply not good enough to allocate the necessary bandwidth for a voice call, but you can still send/receive texts because the bandwidth you need for that is really narrow.

·       The emergency SMS service lets deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired people in the UK send an SMS text message to the UK 999 service where it will be passed to the police, ambulance, fire rescue, or coastguard.

So in an emergency situation being able to text 999 rather an phone them can save lives, potentially your own.

You will need to register your mobile phone before using the emergency SMS service. Simply by sending an SMS message to 999 you can call for help and the emergency services will be able to reply to you.

How to register your phone for text SMS - Register your mobile phone with the service before an emergency happens. Simply text ‘Register’ to 999. Wait for the reply so you know you are registered.  Yes it is that simple.

When an emergency happens – If an emergency happens we advise you only to use SMS to contact the emergency services if you have no other option. This is because it will take longer than other methods such as calling 999, however if you cant make the call use the text service.  

Create an SMS message containing the details below:

Which service? Need Ambulance, Coastguard, Fire Rescue, or Police

What? Briefly what is the problem

Where? Be as accurate as possible when giving the location. The better your information is the faster the emergency services will be able to send help. Using the App What3Words is a very easy and useful way to give your location particularly in rural areas.

The author - Cory Jones who is a Director of First Aid Training Co-operative and has been delivering first aid courses for stables and riders for over 15 years. 

Post Covid First Aid Training Co-operative has restarted first aid training with Covid risk assessments and mitigation in place. Contact them for your next first aid course on 0333 4330731or