If you or someone you know has difficulty making voice calls, you can now contact the emergency services by a text message from your mobile phone.

EmergencySMS is part of the standard 999 service, designed specifically for people with hearing loss or difficulty with speech. Since September 2009, the EmergencySMS service has successfully handled hundreds of real emergency calls.

How do I use EmergencySMS?

To use this service you need to register first: Text ‘register’ to 999 and then follow the instructions you are sent.
In an emergency text 999, and give the following details: Who? (Police, ambulance, fire and rescue or coastguard), What? (Briefly describe the problem), Where? (Describe exactly where it is happening, include postcode or landmark information).

What happens next?

The emergency service will either ask for more information or will tell you that help is on the way. Don’t assume that your message has been received until the emergency service sends a message back. It will usually take about two minutes before you get a reply. If you don’t get a reply within three minutes, please try again or find other ways of getting help.

Do not send test or non-emergency texts to this number!

This service works throughout the UK on all mobile networks, but it cannot be used from abroad.