In Case of Emergency (ICE)

In Case of Emergency (ICE)

Email forward advises you to store the word “I C E” in your mobile phone book along with the number of the person you wish to be contacted in case of emergency.

In an emergency, paramedics, police and fire fighters will sometimes turn to the cell phone for clues to the person’s identity. Quite often people identify their spouse and family members by name in their cell phone address book, making them difficult to find amongst the other entries. You can make their job easier by adding an ICE contact to your cell phone.

Cell phone users are urged to put the acronym ICE – “in case of emergency” – before the names of the people they want to designate as next of kin in their cell address book, creating entries such as “ICE – Dad” or “ICE – David”.

This message of advice circulates via email forwarding and online forums. The message rapidly gained momentum in the wake of the London terrorist bombings of July 2005.

Information in the message is valid and, in fact, the advice it contains is well worth heeding. An article on the East Anglian Ambulance Service website offers more information about the ICE campaign. In April 2005, clinical team leader Bob Brotchie, launched the UK based ICE campaign with support from Vodafone.

The wide spread success of this campaign will largely depend on mobile phone users adopting the ICE tactic and emergency medical personnel being aware of what the acronym ICE actually stands for. Bob Brotchie hopes that other emergency services “will promote ICE in their area as part of a national awareness campaign to highlight the importance of carrying next of kin details at all times.”

As well as adding In Case of Emergency details to their mobile phone book as described, I think it would be wise for people to include a hard copy of these details in their purse or wallet, perhaps in the form of a clearly labelled contact card.

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