Signing up for the text service could save a life on the mountains, Ms Morning said

Signing up for the text service could save a life on the mountains, Ms Morning said

A mountaineering expert is urging walkers and climbers to sign up to a new service that allows 999 calls to be made by text.

Mountaineering Council of Scotland safety adviser Heather Morning pointed out that in many remote mountain areas, mobile phone coverage is weak and where a phone call might not get through, a text message could do.

But outdoors enthusiasts need to register for the service in order to use it.

Ms Morning said: “If you cannot make voice calls, 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 reception is poor and there is not enough signal to make a call.”

She urged walkers and climbers to register for the service now, not to wait for an emergency.

She added: “To register, text ‘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!”

The service, which is run with the Government’s support by the major mobile phone providers and the fire, police and ambulance services, was initially set up for people with hearing difficulties and those unable to communicate by talking.

Mountain rescue teams in the UK are usually mobilised by the police.

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