Emergency Numbers You Need to Know

Emergency Numbers You Need to Know & Texting 999?!

You’re never expecting it to happen but do you really know what to do in an emergency situation. We all know “999” and it will always be the go to number in any emergency, but what if 999 doesn’t fit the situation? Not only is there at least another 4 numbers you should know but there is also the possibility of people who cannot use 999. So what are these other numbers….



112 is possibly just as important as 999 however a lot of people just don’t know what it does. Well, 112 in the UK does exactly the same thing as 999 you can access the emergency services police, fire, ambulance. However, what makes 112 so special is the fact that it works worldwide (the European Union plus many more countries). It’s very easy to go on holiday and never even think of the possibility that you could need the emergency services but you can very quickly end up in a sticky situation and not know what to do. So remember, 112 will connect to the local emergency services in many of the countries you visit. All you need is a mobile signal.


0800 111 999

You’re probably thinking I have no idea what that numbers for… However, it could quite easily save your life. Have you ever suddenly thought “I can smell gas!” it is normal followed by everyone rushing around and trying to find the source to check that the area is safe. It makes you panic and you always expect the worst, but do you know what you would do if you needed professional assistance immediately. This is where 0800 111 999 comes in. This is the number for Gas emergencies. If you smell gas or carbon monoxide, or if a pipeline is struck (even if no gas leak has occurred) call this number 24 hour a day and you will be put through to the national grid gas emergency service.



You may have heard recently about overcrowded A&E’s and people going to A&E unnecessarily but without being a medical professional how do you know what is the best course of action. Many people have been in the situation where it is not enough of an emergency to call an ambulance but it is too much to wait to go to your GP practice. So what do you do? Call 111! 111 is the NHS non-emergency number. It’s fast, easy and free. Call 111 and speak to a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals. They will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you. This is a very important number as the more people who know about it there will be fewer people making unnecessary journeys to A&E creating a better service for those who genuinely need it.



We have actually already got a blog post about this number so take a look at that for more information (here is a link https://radium.co.uk/calls-101/ ). 101 is your none emergency number for the Police. However, there is a charge for calling the number of 15p per call. So make sure to check our blog post and find the direct number for your local police department which will be free of charge. For example, the number for Cheshire Constabulary is 01244 350000.


You can Text 999! (Requires registration – read below for how)

As soon as we heard this we had to share it. This is such as useful tool. It has been designed specifically for those with hearing or speech difficulties but how many people actually know about this. Although it was designed for people with impairments it has so many other great uses. This is such as great concept for people in situations where they cannot be heard calling an emergency service for example people in abusive situations. With recent news stories of terror attacks world-wide we only hope to never be in that situation but it could be lifesaving to know that you could discretely send a text to 999 and emergency services would be on their way. It has also been suggested that if you are in an area with little to no signal and you do not think you could make an emergency call it is possible that a text could go through. If you are ever in this situation do make sure that you get a reply to your message and don’t assume that they have received it.


So how do I go about this you may be wondering…

Firstly, you need to register prior to any emergency (follow this link for instructions http://www.emergencysms.org.uk/registering_your_mobile_phone.php ) If you then find yourself in an emergency any time after registering and you cannot call 999 (obviously you should attempt to call if possible) follow the steps below (taken from the EmergencySms website http://www.emergencysms.org.uk/how_to_send_text.php ).

Step 2.

If an emergency happens we advise you only to use SMS to contact the emergency services if you have no other option. This is because it will take longer than other methods such as 999 or 18000

When you need to send an SMS text message to 999 and you cannot use the standard voice 999 service or the Text Relay 18000 service create an SMS message containing the details below:

  • Which? – Need Ambulance, Coastguard, Fire Rescue, or Police
  • What? – Briefly, what is the problem
  • Where? – Exactly where is it. Give the name of road and town.

Plus more information like:

  • House number
  • Nearby landmarks or main roads


For example your SMS text message might read:

‘ambulance. man having a heart attack. outside post office. valley road watford’

If you include this information the emergency services will not have to ask as many questions and will be able to respond quicker.

Please be as accurate as possible when giving the location. The better your information is the faster the emergency services will be able to send help.


Step 3.

Now send the SMS message to 999.


Step 4.

The emergency service will reply to you asking either for more information or telling you that help is on the way.

Do not assume that your message has been received until you get a message back from the emergency service, an SMS ‘Delivery Report’ does not mean your message has been received.

It can take around 2 minutes for you to get a reply to your emergency message. If you have not received a reply within 3 minutes then we advise you to send another message straight away.

Thank you to Katie Hilton for the content

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