Emergency Procedures Advice

The MCofS has combined with the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland to publish this aide-memoir for emergency procedures

Printable copy of the emergency Procedures Advice (pdf)

Emergency Procedures In the event of an incident

· Stay calm. Take time to assess the situation and decide what to do.

· What should be done immediately to safeguard the group?

· If anyone is injured, remember ABC – airway, breathing and circulation (signs of life/blood loss)

· Treat any injuries (remember the first principle ‘do no harm’)

· Insulate casualty from the ground, add extra clothing. Place any unconscious casualties in the ‘recovery position’.

· Determine your exact position on the map and consider the options for:

(a) Descent to safety. What will the terrain be like? How far to reach safety? Are you sure you can carry the casualty? Will the casualty’s injuries be made worse by travelling?

(b) Finding shelter. Don’t use up valuable time and energy unless you are sure about finding shelter.

(c) Staying put. Will your situation be resolved if you stay where you are?

(d) Seeking help (remember that even when a rescue team has been alerted, help might not arrive for several hours).

If you decide you need help and you are calling from a mobile phone –

Phone 999 and ask for POLICE and MOUNTAIN RESCUE

· Try to conserve battery life by having all the details to hand before phoning. A list of the details needed is shown below.

· If there is no mobile coverage at your location, consider whether it might be worth moving to another location to phone from.

· Check who else in your party has a mobile phone (and coverage) and evaluate the amount of battery life available in the event of additional calls being necessary.

· If mobile reception is poor and you are unsuccessful dialing 999, try the alternative emergency no of 112.

· If this fails, try sending a text to a friend.

When connected provide:

(a) Location of the incident (grid reference, map sheet number, name of mountain area and description of the terrain).

(b) Number and names of people in the party and their condition.

(c) Any injuries and names of casualties.

Be ready to provide the following additional information:

· Telephone number of the phone you are using and any other phones in the group.

· The nature and time of the incident – what happened?

· Weather conditions including wind speed and visibility at the accident site.

· Equipment which is at the accident site (warm clothing, group shelter etc)

· Any distinguishing feature/marker/colour at the accident site.

· Location of where you are phoning from – if different from accident site.

If going for help on foot:

· Remember to take all the details shown above. Write them down if possible.

· If possible, leave at least one person with the casualty.

· If possible, send two or more people for help.

· Make the casualty’s location easily seen by search parties.


999 Text Service to Assist Hill Walkers and Climbers

Mobile phone reception in the Highlands can often be intermittent or non-existent. If you are involved in an incident on the hill and need to call assistance but cannot make voice calls, you may now contact the 999 emergency services using a short messaging service (SMS) text from your mobile phone. 

The service was originally set up in 2009 for people who are hard of hearing or who have a speech impediment. The service has been successful in helping identify crime and enabling emergency calls to be made when otherwise contact would have been difficult or impossible for the people involved.

The service will now assist those needing emergency assistance in the hills when mobile reception is poor and there is not enough signal to make a voice call. The benefit is that a text message can be composed and sent in a single operation. You should specify 'Police-Mountain Rescue' when sending the text, and include information about your location, nature of the incident and those involved.

You will only be able to use this service if you have registered with emergency SMS first.  Register now: don't wait for an emergency.  To register, text the word 'register' to 999.  You will get a reply - then follow the instructions you are sent.  This will only take approx two minutes of your time and could save your life!