Nowadays, the majority of us are contactable via our mobile phones 24/7. We store the contact information of friends, family and acquaintances in our devices, yet too few of us think of highlighting who to contact in case of an emergency.
In Case of Emergency (also known as ICE) is a school of thinking which helps first responders, such as police officers, paramedics, firefighters or even passers by to identify accident accident victims and help contact their next of kin in order to obtain vital medical information.
Research carried out by the telecoms firm Vodafone revealed that fewer than 25% of mobile phone users had any vital details regarding their health conditions or next of kin stored prominently on their devices.
ICE was initially conceived during 2005 by Bob Brotchie, a British paramedic who recognised that developments in mobile phone technology had the potential to save people’s lives. Mr Brotchie conceptualised the idea in the aftermath of the 7/7 London bombings, where he found it difficult to contact friends and relatives of those he treated during the atrocity. The ICE programme encourages people to enter contact details in their phone address book/contacts list under the name ICE. Some people will enter multiple contacts and name them ICE1, ICE2 et cetera.
Various mobile phone manufacturers have been supportive of the campaign, with some going so far as to add an ‘ICE’ menu to the contact lists of new devices.
Conceptually, ICE has proved popular, although has its roots in a similar method – where sufferers of illness would wear a bracelet or necklace featuring vital information regarding their illness as well their next of kin, to be contacted in the event of an emergency.
ICE is catching on with many people due to the fact that so many of us carry mobile phones these days. Storing the details of a person to be contacted during an emergency couldn’t be easier, and allows first responders and trained medical staff to reach the right people in order to gain vital information which could save the life of a victim.