ICE Your Cell Phone


Have you programed your cell phone with an address of ICE?  “ICE” stands for “In Case of an Emergency” and would designate a contact person, if you were unable to respond for yourself in an emergency.  A brainchild of a British paramedic who found it difficult to get important contact details from patients who were unconscious or in shock.  By programming your cell phone with ICE, not only will paramedics and hospital personnel have a method of contacting loved ones, to advise them of your situation and your location, but also a method to get pertinent information about your medical history.  Your contact person should be aware of your blood type, medical allergies, current medications or any other information that would be relevant.

Fueled by the London bombings and a  news story by the Washington Post, this idea has begun to circulate and is becoming a recognizable and established method for getting  information.   It has an even greater significance with kids.  Many children do not carry a wallet or other types of identification, but many now carry cell phones.   By programming your child’s cell phone with ICE (with your phone number), gives medical personnel an immediate means to contact you when a disaster strikes.  This time saving system can help expedite treatment which may mean the difference in life or death.

Realize this is not a fool proof system, there are some drawbacks.  Such as, if you lock your cell phone, the phone becomes damaged in the accident or the battery discharges.  You may want to consider other methods as well, such as affixing a card next to your drivers license which gives similar information.

Unfortunately there has been an email being passed around that states a random virus is being sent out to cell phones, searching for the address “ICE” or “I.C.E.”.  If found, it would download a virus that would charge a premium rate, use up existing minutes or drain available credits.  The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) has dismissed this advisory as a hoax.  It is a shame there are some small minded individuals who would pull such a prank, that may cause somebody additional suffering or death.  This is a safe process, there is no danger in programming your cell phone with an emergency contact number under the acronym “ICE”.

And lastly you can program more than one number such as ICE1, ICE2 or ICE3.  Make sure the person or persons you are using can make medical decisions on your behalf and knows your medical background.  If a child, the ICE number must or should be a parent or guardian.  It’s a great idea, store it in your cell phone then pass on the information to your family and friends.

Apple has a free and paid App to use for your iPhone.

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