Texting this number could actually save your life

Here’s everything you need to know…

Calling 999 is something all of us hope not to do, but there is a sense of security having that option there.

People have often pointed out however that calling the emergency services can actually be very difficult, especially if you are in a dangerous situation and don’t want to alert an aggressor or draw attention to yourself.

We have all heard the chilling 999 call from a woman pretending to be ordering a pizza, speaking in code so the person threatening her wasn’t aware.

Introducing emergencySMS, allowing you to report your problem and get help by just sending a text.

Put simply, texting this number could actually save your life.

Here’s everything you need to know…

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What is emergencySMS?

EmergencySMS is a system that allows you to alert the emergency services via a text, rather than a phone call. You can now simply text 999 with the service you need, details of your emergency and your location, and they will respond as quickly as they can, addressing your needs and getting the right service to the scene.

Do I need to register to use emergencySMS?

Yes. You need to register to use emergencySMS but it doesn’t take long. Simply text the word ‘register’ to 999, read the automatic text reply and then reply to the text with the word ‘yes’. You will then receive a ‘success’ text and you’re in. You are encouraged to check that it works by texting ‘register’ once more to 999 – if you get a text telling you that you’re already registered, then you’re all set up.

What details do I include in my emergencySMS?

When sending an emergencySMS, you need to specify the service you need (police, ambulance or fire brigade), what the emergency is and a precise description of the location. ‘Be as accurate as possible when giving the location,’ the site reads. ‘The better your information, the faster the emergency services will be able to send help.’ The example they give of a good text is, ‘Ambulance. Man having a heart attack. Outside Nibbles Pizza. Glossop Road Sheffield S10’. Once you have sent your message to 999, they will confirm receipt of the text, either to ask for more information or to tell you that help is on the way.

Is emergencySMS faster than calling 999?

No. On the Next Generation Text Service website, they recommend that emergencySMS should be used to alert the emergency services when there is no other option, with the service taking longer than the standard 999 phone call.

For more information, visit Next Generation Text Service.

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