“How,” you ask? Well, it’s really pretty easy. Most of us create a directory of contacts on our phones so our family and friends are just a click away. When victims are unable to communicate, emergency responders often check their cell phone directory, hoping to find the number for a family member or other important point of contact. This is where “ICE” comes in.
ICE, as an acronym, stands for “In Case of Emergency.” You can create a contact under the title ICE, followed by the person’s name and telephone number. If need be, you can create multiple ICE contacts, such as ICE1, ICE2 and ICE3, to add additional phone numbers, perhaps including your family doctor and work associates who need to be contacted during an emergency. Because names in contact lists appear in alphabetical order, some people use an “A” before the word ICE. This allows these numbers to be the first ones seen by emergency responders when they open the directory.
Who would you want to have on your ICE contact list? Your nearest family member would probably top the list, followed by your primary care physician and a work contact.
And while your doctor knows your medical history and is aware of any medications, existing conditions or allergies you have, you need to provide that to others on your ICE list. Remember to provide both daytime and nighttime telephone numbers as appropriate so those on your ICE list can be contacted 24 hours a day.
The ICE idea originated after the terror bombings in London in 2005. One of the paramedics who responded to the scene suggested the idea, which later became a nationwide safety campaign in Great Britain. Its popularity was such that the idea has spread to other countries, including the United States, where many emergency responders have adopted the practice. By creating your own ICE cell phone contact list, you can help emergency responders help you during an emergency.
Editor’s note: Information on the ICE program in this article was provided by the American Society of Safety Engineers, available online at http://www.asse.org/.

Page last updated Wed June 1st, 2011 at 11:57