The online magazine ‘Grough’ has reported that the Ramblers Association are campaigning for ambulance control centres to train their staff to take grid references from walkers in need of assistance.
If you require emergency assistance on the hills you should phone 999, ask for the police and then tell them you require mountain rescue. Requesting an ambulance will result in a longer delay as a vehicle will be sent to the road head before establishing if further help is necessary. Sometimes it may be possible for an air ambulance to be dispatched.
To take a grid reference, first look at the top left hand corner of your map to find two letters such as NY. Then follow the numbers along the bottom of the map and then the numbers up the side to find the box you are in. This ‘four-figure’ grid reference will put you in a box that is 1 kilometre square. Using a romer, it is then possible to work out a ‘six figure’ grid reference which will put you in a 100m square box. GPS devices will display a ‘ten figure’ grid reference which can offer the greatest accuracy. The Ordnance Survey has produced a helpful leaflet called map reading made easy which explains grid references in more detail.