A video has gone viral on TikTok detailing exactly how to register for the EmergencySMS text service. The service enables people to contact emergency services via text in situations where they are unable to speak out loud. The video was posted by Georgia Penny and has so far received more than 400,000 views.
She says: “I am begging you to do this. It literally takes 20 seconds.”
To register your phone for the service just text REGISTER to 999. You will then receive an automated reply which you need to read and respond YES. Then you will receive another message telling you that your phone is registered or if there has been a problem with your registration.
You must be registered to use the EmergencySMS service and it only works in the UK.
The service was set up to ensure deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired people can contact 999 without having to speak. The service can be used to contact the police, ambulance, fire rescue or coastguard.
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When texting the EmergencySMS service, your message must clearly state which service is needed and a brief description of what is happening and the location of the incident.
You will then receive a message back either asking for more information or stating that help is on the way.
Another option if you need to call 999 but are too scared to speak aloud is the Silent Solution procedure.
The police call handler will then attempt to communicate with you by asking simple yes or no questions. Listen to the questions and instructions from the call handler so they can arrange help.
The Silent Solution was created to help people who are unable to speak but genuinely need police assistance. The system also filters out large numbers of accidental or hoax calls so there must be some indication the call has not been mis-dialled.
The Silent Solution protocol has been in place for over a decade, but police are concerned that not many people know about the practice.