August 04, 2005


London Paramedics have come up with a simple, but brilliant bit of practical advice; include ICE—In Case of Emergency—contact numbers in your cell phone address book:

Cell-phone users often have entries for just about everything on their phones' contact lists -- spouses, parents, children, the hairdresser.

But some emergency workers are asking cell-phone users to add one more contact to that address book -- an "In Case of Emergency" or ICE contact.

Originally conceived by paramedics in London, the ICE concept has spread internationally, mostly through e-mail messages and a handful of reports in the national media. According to The Washington Post, at least a couple of police departments in the United States have encouraged the idea in their jurisdictions.

Paramedics, police and firefighters often waste valuable time trying to figure out which name in a victim's cell phone to call in the case of an emergency. Most people often identify spouses or other kin by their first names on their contact lists, which makes them indistinguishable from the entries for the dentist or babysitter.

For more on the concept, go to

Posted by Confederate Yankee at August 4, 2005 06:00 PM | TrackBack

Won't work on my cell phone (Samsung) or my previous one (Qualcomm/Kyocera). It only lets you list any given phone number once. Well, I suppose it would work.... if I wanted to list all of my family members as various numbers (home, work, pager, etc) under the ICE contact.

Nice idea, though.

Posted by: GunGeek at August 5, 2005 12:35 PM

I think the idea is that you replace the name, not try to re-add it again.

Instead of having 555-5555 be the number for for "Sue", you list it as "ICE Sue".

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at August 5, 2005 12:53 PM

Being a Firefighter and EMS worker in Michigan, I think ICE on your cell phone is a great idea that I hope catches on worldwide. It should however, be used in conjunction with carrying with you at all times an emergency information card.

You can get a free and immediate emergency information card with contacts, phone numbers, medical history/conditions and even current medications by clicking here.

Posted by: SB at August 11, 2005 11:51 AM