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Register your phone for the Emergency SMS

Did you know that since 2009 it has been possible to send a text to the emergency services on 999 – referred to as Emergency SMS.  The service is primarily aimed at people who have hearing or speech impairments but can be used if you are unable to speak on the phone or perhaps where there is limited signal to make a call.

What to do – FIRST register your phone

To use the service you must first register your mobile phone:

  1. Text the word ‘register’ to 999
  2. You will receive a message and instructions what to do next
  3. Read the reply, follow instructions and reply ‘YES’
  4. You will then receive a message to confirm your phone has been registered

Using the Service

To use the service, just send a descriptive text to 999 stating:

WHO? Police, Ambulance, Fire and Rescue, Coastguard or Mountain Rescue

WHAT? Briefly, what is the problem

WHERE? Exactly where the problem is happening – name of the road, house number, postcode or nearby landmark

Do not assume that your message has been received until you receive a reply.


If you do not have a signal on your home network, you will not be able to send a text to 999.

Click here to download the full emergency SMS leaflet

This article was written by Joanne Joveini from Act Fast First Aid which provides a range of bespoke first aid courses and qualifications for the workplace and outdoor environments.

For more information about Joanne and Act Fast First Aid please visit our website.

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