Are You Really Prepared For an Emergency?

If you were involved in an serious accident and were unable to speak, how would paramedics know which of your loved ones to call? What if they needed medical information to treat you?

ICE (in case of emergency) is a program used by first responders, such as fire fighters, paramedics, and police officers to ascertain who to contact if you are involved in an emergency.

All you need to do is enter emergency contacts into your cell phone address list under the name “ICE”. For example, you would type ICE-Mom 555-5555. If you have multiple contacts you would like to list, then you can simply program “ICE1”, “ICE2”, etc.

The program was started by Bob Brotchie of the East Anglia Ambulance Service in the UK. On a BBC radio 4 Today program, Brotchie stated, “I was reflecting on some difficult calls I’ve attended, where people were unable to speak to me through injury or illness and we were unable to find out who they were. I discovered that many people, obviously, carry mobile phones and we were using them to discover who they were. It occurred to me that if we had a uniform approach to searching inside a mobile phone for an emergency contact then that would make it easier for everyone.”

There are critics of the program who feel time is of the essence in an emergency so medical service personnel can’t contact relatives. In addition, if someone is seriously injured their condition wouldn’t be discussed over the phone. Therefore, you should also be mindful to carry an emergency contact list on paper as a backup.

If you have a pass code to access your phone, check to see if ICE can be entered on the pass code page. Most phone manufacturers are familiar with ICE and can assist you.

~ Dawn Perdon