UKC News, Nov 2010
© Alan James
The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) is urging everyone who walks climbs and skis in the Scottish mountains to register with the 999 emergency text service.
This service has been set up to allow people to text 999 when voice calls cannot be made, but where there is sufficient signal to send a text.
Heather Morning, the MCofS Mountain Safety Advisor, is urging mountaineers to register for the new service. She said: “You can now contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone. This is going to be particularly useful for those needing 999 assistance in the hills when mobile phone reception is often intermittent and there is not enough signal to make a call.”
However, you will only be able to use this service if you have registered with emergencySMS first. The MCofS is urging mountaineers to register now rather than wait for an emergency. To register, text 'Register' to 999. You will get a reply and will then need to follow the instructions you are sent. The text system is meant to be used only when voice calls cannot be made and the system does not guarantee that texts will be delivered, so users should wait until they receive a reply from the emergency services before assuming help has been summoned. The system was originally set up to help deaf and hard of hearing people. Further details, including guidelines on how to register, can be found at www.emergencysms.org.uk.
MCofS Membership Development Officer Mike Dales said: “This is a great idea that is bound to save lives. I've just registered myself and it took less than two minutes."
For further information contact Mike Dales on 01738 493 942 or go to the MCofS website at: www.mcofs.org.uk.