Essex Area Ramblers

At the heart of walking in Essex

Contacting the Emergency Services

Produced by the Ramblers and the British Red Cross




Dealing with emergencies

When dealing with an emergency it is important to try and remain calm and look out for any dangers to yourself, the injured walker and the remainder of the group. There are three conditions that immediately threaten life:

Breathing problems
Heart problems
Serious bleeding




Summoning help

Use a mobile phone to call 999 (or 112) and ask for an ambulance or the police, then mountain rescue as appropriate. Send others (two recommended) for help if there is no mobile signal. Remember, even if your mobile phone has no signal make the call to the emergency services as other networks may transmit the call.

When calling the emergency services remember:

  • Stay calm
  • Describe the nature of the emergency
  • State the location accurately
  • Answer any questions clearly
  • Be patient – your call will be prioritised and handled as quickly as possible
  • The emergency distress signal is six quick successive whistle blasts or torch flashes

When the situation is under control

Ensure the casualty is kept warm, dry and comfortable as far as practical. Do not forget about the rest of the group as they need looking after too. Think about the arrival of the emergency services and plan accordingly. Remember to ensure the scene is left clean and tidy. Also think about how you, or others, might have been affected. It is a good idea to follow the casualty’s recovery.