If the unthinkable happens, and you were to need help from any of our emergency services, would you know how to contact them?  Most people think they do.  Imagine if you had been involved in an incident whilst driving along a quiet country road, would you know how to contact the local emergency services?

First think about what information you need to pass, especially if you’re outside away from a building or location with a postal address.

Where are you? Ideally supply an exact postal address, however if you can’t, then there are several mobile applications that could assist you such as What3Words and OSLocate.

Use the following acronym to get as much information as you can ready before you call. 


Incident (What has happened)

Other services required (i.e. police, fire, coast guard etc)

Number of casualties

Extent of each casualties’ injuries 

Location (Checked and confirmed)  

We discuss LIONEL and the locating apps in more detail in a separate blog.

So how do we get help?

Phone 999 or 112.

Both 999 and 112 go through to the UK Emergency Control Centre. From here you ask for the service you require – Ambulance, Police, Fire or Coastguard. Other services such as the RNLI and Mountain Rescue are all controlled by one of these 4 agencies too.

112 is an internationally recognised number which will access the local Emergency Control Centre throughout Europe and many other countries around the world.

Text 999

The Emergency SMS service was originally set up to let deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired people in the UK send an SMS text messages to the 999 Emergency Control Centre.  

It has since been adapted and can be used by anyone where you don’t have a good mobile phone signal, you don’t have enough battery life for a call or you need to contact the emergency services silently.

How does it work?

You need to register your mobile phone number in order to use the facility.

Simply open up your standard SMS message editor and begin a new message. 

Enter the number ‘999’ in the recipients box, and then type the word ‘Register’ in the body of the message.

Press ‘Send’.

You will then receive a message to confirm that you have read the enclosed terms & Conditions.

Read the T’s & C’s and reply ‘yes’.

You will then receive a confirmation message and you’re done. It takes less than a minute to register but do it now before you actually need the service, as you may not remember how to do it in the event of an emergency.

You can now text 999, it is your number not the phone so iif you change phone it does not matter. 

When texting 999 please do not assume that you have got a message through until you have received a positive response back.

Option 5: Shout!

Before we had technology, we used to shout for help. This still works. In an emergency your adrenalin filled voice will carry further than you think, never assume that no one can hear you. If you’re out enjoying the countryside, beach or woodland walk, someone else might be as well. Keep shouting for help on a regular basis. Never give up!

Be prepared – before anything happens – by following these simple rules:

  1. Always plan for the worst and hope for the best!
  2. Register your phone number for 999 text service NOW.
  3. Get first aid trained and get an appropriate first aid kit for your activities.
  4. Always let people know where you are going and what to do if they don’t hear from you. Include your chosen route, parking spot, vehicle registration and clothing colours if appropriate.
  5. Check you have enough battery power for phones, torches and spares.
  6. Check you have additional clothing layers, water and food in case you need to wait for emergency services.

Get prepared – get trained!

Nothing beats formal training, Mini First Aid Norfolk discuss all of the items discussed in this blog during our workplace, outdoor and teens courses.  We offer bespoke training o cover your specific requirements.



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