Is your Mobile phone registered for the 999 text service ?

My friend Anne Butler reminded me of this. It could save your life!

Is your mobile phone registered for the 999 text service?

If you have an emergency in the hills and do not have enough signal to make a voice call there may be sufficient signal to send an emergency text to 999.
I have used it and it works!
To do this your phone MUST be registered for the 999 text service.

Text the word ‘register’ to 999. You will get a reply, and should then follow the instructions you are sent. This will take about two minutes of your time and could save your life. Details in the link below.

Emergency SMS

Since 2009 it has been possible to send a text to the emergency services on 999 – referred to as EmergencySMS.  The service is primarily aimed at deaf and speech impaired people, but it is not restricted to that subset of the population.  


A voice call to 999 must always be used in preference to a text.  (This advice is from BT, who run the 999 and Emergency SMS functions.) 

Before you can use EmergencySMS

To use the service you must first register, which is a simple process – see below.  

To register

1. Send the word “register” to 999
2. You will receive a message about the service
3. When you have read the message, reply with ‘yes’ (in a text message to 999)
4. You will receive a further message confirming registration, or that there has been a problem with registering your phone

To check registration

At any time you can check whether your phone is registered by sending the word ‘register’ to 999.

Using the Service

To use the service, you just send a descriptive text – see example – to 999 and await a reply. Do not assume that your message has been received until you receive a reply, which should be in 2 to 3 minutes.

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

Further info

For full details see with further information from Ofcom at

Please remember a phone needs to be fully charged if your on the hill and protected from the weather. I always carry a battery charger on the hill and protect my phone in a case.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Articles, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Is your Mobile phone registered for the 999 text service ?

  1. Pingback: Is your Mobile phone registered for the 999 text service ? — heavywhalley – Walking the Old Ways

  2. A great bit of advice. I never knew anything about it!

    Liked by 1 person

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