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ICE in Your Mobile Phone

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2003, that over 900,000 emergency room patients could not provide contact information because they were incapacitated.

A simple initiative, originally conceived by a paramedic in Great Britain, the ICE campaign was created to deal with the long-standing problem encountered by emergency service professionals – how to contact relatives or other interested parties for a victim who is unconscious, unable to respond to questions or deceased.  Cell users are urged to put the acronym ICE – “in case of emergency” – before the names of the people they want contacted in the event that they are ever incapacitated.

Cell phone“I.C.E. is a no cost, easy safety plan everyone with a cell phone can participate in right now,” said Novi Police Chief David E. Molloy. “Police officers, firefighters and paramedics often lose valuable time trying to figure out which name in a cell phone to call when disaster strikes. Also, many people identify family members by name in their cell, making them indistinguishable from other entries. We’re hoping Novi residents will participate and ‘ICE’ their cell phone address books today. By following these simple steps, residents can assist emergency workers in making proper and timely notification to their designated contacts.”

How to “ICE” your phone:

  • Type the acronym ICE into your cell phone followed by a name. Example: “ICE-William” or “ICE-Jim-Dad.”
  • Save their phone number under that heading in your cell phone address book.
  • Make sure your ICE contact’s number is one that is easy to contact, for example a home number could be useless in an emergency if the person is at work.
  • Alert your ICE contact and ensure that they know about any medical conditions that could effect your emergency treatment, such as allergies or current medication.

Chief Molloy points out “not only does the ICE initiative help emergency service professionals identify a responsible party when they come upon an unconscious person, it also helps identify the owners of lost cell phones.”