Tuesday, June 17, 2008

ICE: Helping out the emergency services

A simple idea but one that might help save a life. I've was emailed it today but it seems to be around for ages. Grannymar has a great podcast on it here.

Message from the Ambulance Service

We all carry our mobile phones with names and numbers stored in its memory. If we were to be involved in an accident or were taken ill, the people attending us would have our mobile phone but wouldn't know who to call.

Yes, there are hundreds of numbers stored but which one is the contact person in case of an emergency? Hence this 'ICE' (In Case of Emergency) campaign.

The concept of 'ICE' is catching on quickly. It is a method of contact during emergency situations.

All you need to do is store the number of a contact person or persons who should be contacted during emergency under the name 'ICE' ( In Case Of Emergency).

For more than one contact name simply enter ICE1, ICE2 and ICE3 etc.

In an emergency situation, Emergency Service personnel and hospital staff would be able to quickly contact the right person by simply dialling the number you have stored as 'ICE'.

Please tell people about this. It really could save your life, or put a loved one's mind at rest.

The idea was thought up by a paramedic who found that when he went to the scenes of accidents there were always mobile phones with patients but they didn't know which number to call. He therefore thought that it would be a good idea if there was a nationally recognised name for this purpose.
Sent (apparently) via email from the office of Gerard Lane, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Emergency Department, Letterkenny General Hospital.

I think it's a great idea with lots of potential. I hope it works.


  1. I would assume most people would have "Home" "Mam" "Dad" etc., in their phonebooks, yet you'd hardly have your partner (often next of kin) as "Husband" or "Wife" I suppose.

    This would be great if it did catch on.

  2. Yeah, I read this ages ago, even put it into my phone but logic would assume that having a piece of paper in your wallet with emergency contact numbers would be far easier. How many differnt phones are there? How many differnt models with their own address books, key locking tech and all the rest. For the 5 minutes an EMT is fooling around with a phone it would take 30 secs to look in your wallet. Not a bad idea but a flawed idea, still have it in my phone though.

  3. I'm notoriously private with things like phones for no reason, I'd stay conscious after getting run over by a truck just so I could throw my phone away in case anyone would snoop around on it.

  4. I've tried this! It is a great idea but my phone get a bit confused about having two contacts with the same number (eg. ICE and Mum or ICE and Eoghan) so that when that contact was calling me it would come up as ICE and I'd get confused!

  5. What happens if you have a mate nicknamed ICE? Usually Mam or Mum is the best option to call.

  6. @sinéad - I went through my phonebook to check, and yes I do, but given the fact I live so far away it would just be worse for them cos they couldn't do anything. I think it's if you have people that "could" do something, let people know etc. Maybe.

    @anthony - I only got it on email today. Good idea about the paper except I don't have that big a wallet. Maybe a laminated sticker on the back of the phone?

    @b - what do you have in your phone??

    @casa - hello there - one easy way around this (depending on your phone) could be to record one as 085 etc and the other as 0035385 maybe?? Good comment though!

    @dardar - as I said to sinéad above, sometimes but not always. And if you have a mate called ICE, so much the better - no need for duplicate entries ;-)

  7. I've my family's phone numbers and a ringtone of Ricky Gervais laughing for 5 minutes.

    I'm just very private... no ambulance man is gonna find out my house number!

  8. My family and friends are under knicknames so when I heard about this I.C.E. thing a while back I put them into my phone. I think it's a marvellous idea.

    Seriously, my Uncle James is under Don Corleone, because guess what...he's my...Godfather...

    Other (Big, Fat, v.Tall) Uncle with beard = Hagrid

    I think the Emergency Services would thank me ;)

    It was embarrassing once. When getting numbers from one SIM onto a newer bigger SIM, the chap in the phone shop was looking at me and grinning - I couldn't think why. "Ah," I thought, "he's looking at my silly phonebook entries..."

    It's fun being me. The pictsies inside my head enjoy it too, most of the time.

  9. It's a great idea, but here's a better refinement of it that I proposed ages ago. Instead of just saving the numbers as ICE1, ICE2, etc - store them like this:
    ICE - Mother - Grannymar
    ICE - Husband - George

    This way if an EMT does pick up my phone, they would have a choice of who to call, but would also know how to address the person and explain whose phone they are calling from.

  10. Hiya,

    This did the rounds via email before and was then struck off as a scam.
    However perhaps our wonderful hospital consultant in Letterkenny :P has resurrected the idea and as it makes sense it would work wonders.
    The only other thought would be that most people have either mum, dad or home in their phones and that would be the place to ring!

    Anyway, thats my tuppence worth, hee hee.


  11. I did a short Podcast about it here: http://www.grannymar.com/blog/2006/09/22/ice-numbers/

    It is a wonderful idea.

  12. Great idea. We've got a buddy who's a fireman. Will ask him his thoughts next time we have a drinky x