SOS text lifeline

THE Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) is urging anyone who walks and climbs in the Borders to register with the 999 emergency text service.

The service has been set up to allow people to text 999 when voice calls cannot be made, but where there is sufficient signal to send a text. But outdoors enthusiasts need to register with emergency SMS first.

MCofS’s Heather Morning said: “This is going to be particularly useful for those needing 999 assistance in the hills when mobile phone reception is often intermittent and there is not enough signal to make a call.”

To get the ball rolling, text ‘Register’ to 999. You will get a reply and will then need to follow the instructions you are sent.

MCofS said the text system is meant to be used only when voice calls cannot be made and the system does not guarantee that texts will be delivered, so users should wait until they receive a reply from the emergency services before assuming help has been summoned.

For more information see www.emergencysms.org.uk.

Meanwhile the council has organised winter safety lectures across Scotland which last for 45 minutes.

MCofS chief officer David Gibson said: “Our aim is to offer expert advice – and so help people enjoy the hills with a better understanding of how to tackle winter conditions – advice that one day could be invaluable.”

Climbing instructor Tamsin Gay will give the talk at Tiso in Commercial Street, Leith, Edinburgh on February 3.

Mountain Rescue Committee for Scotland training officer Stuart Johnston will give the talk at Tiso on March 3.

For further information contact Heather Morning on 01479 861 241 or see www.mcofs.org.uk/winterlectureseries.asp.