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ICE Smart Move

Posted by Carl E. Reid Wednesday, December 28, 2005

I received this email from a good friend. Reading this could save a life.

Cell phones are once again proving just how valuable they can be by coming to the aid of police and paramedics during the time of an automobile accident or a disaster. Mobile phone users are being urged to enter a number in their cell phone's memory with the initials ICE which stands for In Case of Emergency, along with the contact person's name and number. For example: ICE John Husband 555/222-2222 -

With this valuable information readily available, emergency personnel can swiftly find the number and use it to reach a relative or friend who could help treat injured victims by providing personal information, including details about medical conditions. In extreme circumstances ICE contacts can help with identifying deceased victims.

British paramedic Bob Britchie is credited with creating ICE after reflecting on difficulties he has experienced on the job while trying to obtain information about the injured. The vast majority of people do not carry emergency contact information or next of kin information, but the vast majority of people do carry cell phones. Paramedics can search for ICE contacts and get the much needed information faster than looking for contacts or trying random names.


The Foundation recommends the following be done prior to listing an ICE contact:


1. Talk with the potential ICE contact to make them aware that they will be listed.

2. Give the ICE contact your full name, date of birth, address, blood type, medical conditions, allergies, surgery history, etc.

Please keep in mind that ICE is not fool proof. If you lock your phone out or the phone is damaged during the incident or accident, it will not work. With this in mind you should have your emergency contact information somewhere else such as in your wallet, briefcase or in the glove compartment of your car. ICE could be a lifesaver; these three letters can expedite treatment and help people at the earliest opportunity.
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