Although mobile ' phone usage is taken for granted, reception coverage is most effective and reliant in populated areas. Consequently, walkers should not place absolute reliance upon them when in remote or isolated areas, especially countryside, moorland and hills, as a signal may not be available.
This could create difficulties should an incident occur requiring attendance of the emergency services. Normal procedure is to call "999" or "112" but if a signal is not available, required attendance will be delayed with potential increased risk to a casualty.
An SMS service is available for walkers who visit areas with bad mobile phone access. Initially developed for persons with a hearing or speeech impediment, anyone can now register with the new service. It allows 999 calls to be made via a text message. The Ramblers Organisation recommend using it.
It needs to be stressed that this service is only to be used if you have no other option (such as phoning 999/112).
It is a very simple process to register your mobile phone, and you will be only able to use it if you have registered your own mobile. The website for the organisation is www.emergencysms.org.uk where details can be viewed. Click SMS to read a publicity leaflet that also contains relevant details.
To register, text 'Register' to 999 on your mobile. You will get a reply – then follow the instructions you are sent. It only takes five minutes.
If anybody wants more information on this service and cannot open the attached Adobe document or access the website, please email Martin Hill, Pocklington Walks Secretary.
Remember, in an emergency response time is critical so this system could be a potential lifesaver in remote areas.