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How to Call for Help – Emergency In The Hills

We are part of a national Mountain Safety Group who have reported several instances, including from mountain bikers, where people have had an accident (or are concerned for someone who has had an accident) but has not known the correct procedure to call for help from mountain rescue.

Thinkwinter stay warm web credit Ross Bell 1

We are pleased to help share this important message through their official press release.

Scottish Mountain Rescue (SMR) are delighted to see so many hillwalkers and climbers enjoying the mountains over the recent months. This summer has seen a noticeable increase in the number of people heading for the outdoors and, with foreign travel opportunities still limited due to coronavirus, it’s likely that many will carry on their new hobby throughout the winter. We would like to use this opportunity to remind all hillwalkers on ways to stay safe in the hills and how to call for help.

Scottish Mountain Rescue Vice Chair, Kev Mitchell said

“We are very lucky in Scotland to have a world class volunteer Mountain Rescue service. Help us, to help you, by being prepared and knowing what to do in an emergency. If you are lost, in need of assistance or in an emergency, dial 999 ask for POLICE then MOUNTAIN RESCUE. Enjoy our incredible wild places and support our volunteer teams who will assist you any hour, any day and any weather.”


You have packed your rucksack, put your boots on and headed out for an adventure into the Scottish hills but STOP, have you considered what might happen if you get into difficulty and need to call out a mountain rescue team?

Given the increasing number of callouts that all teams across Scotland have attended recently, we need everyone to know what to do to avoid getting into difficulty and, if the worst happens, how to call for help.

Firstly, ensure that you are prepared by:

  • Planning your day carefully (weather conditions, equipment, clothing, supplies)
  • Registering for the 999 text service:
    • Text the word ‘register’ to 999 and follow the instructions.
    • Should you have insufficient service to call 999, you can text 999.
  • Downloading the free OS Locate App
    • Used alongside your OS map, this is a fast and highly accurate means of pinpointing your exact location on the map. It has an inbuilt GPS system, so you don’t need mobile signal. You will need to switch on your device’s location services for this to work.
  • Leaving a route card with a responsible person
    • Remember to let your responsible person know when you’re back safe.
  • Ensuring your mobile is fully charged and kept in your inside pocket.
  • Carrying a map and compass and know how to use them.
    • Always be aware of what is around you and where you are.

Police Scotland deploy all mountain rescue teams in Scotland

The police will require your:

  • Location (ideally 6 figure grid reference or named location/feature)
  • Casualties – number and nature of injuries
  • Group number and equipment you have
  • Mobile numbers for you and others in the group

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