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Dr. Bill's Commentaries

Put ICE in your cell phone   (October 15, 2007)

I received an interesting e-mail (reproduced below), and Googled a key phrase. There are websites that discuss the origin of the concept, which seems to have been sometime in 2005: see for example Put an "ICE" Entry into Your Phone With Emergency Contact Information-Truth!

"ICE - can your loved ones be contacted quickly?

"In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Central London, emergency services highlighted the need for rapid access to friends and relatives. One possible method is an easily found emergency contact listed in your mobile phone, ICE - In Case of Emergency.

"A campaign encouraging people to enter an emergency contact number in their mobile phone's memory under the heading ICE (In Case of Emergency), has rapidly spread throughout the world as a particular consequence of last week's terrorist attacks in London.

"Originally established as a nation-wide campaign in the UK, ICE allows paramedics or police to be able to contact a designated relative / next-of-kin in an emergency situation.

"The idea is the brainchild of East Anglian Ambulance Service paramedic Bob Brotchie and was launched in May this year. Bob, 41, who has been a paramedic for 13 years, said: "I was reflecting on some of the calls I've attended at the roadside where I had to look through the mobile phone contacts struggling for information on a shocked or injured person. Almost everyone carries a mobile phone now, and with ICE we'd know immediately who to contact and what number to ring. The person may even know of their medical history."

"By adopting the ICE advice, your mobile will help the rescue services quickly contact a friend or relative - which could be vital in a life or death situation. It only takes a few seconds to do, and it could easily help save your life. Why not put ICE in your phone now? Simply select a new contact in your phone book, enter the word 'ICE' and the number of the person you wish to be contacted. If you have a range of useful emergency contacts, simply list them as ICE1, ICE2 and so forth.

Sounds like a cool idea to me!

And yes, I've programmed my cell phone with ICE.

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Dr. Bill Quick began writing at HealthCentral's diabetes website in November, 2006. These essays are reproduced at D-is-for-Diabetes with the permission of HealthCentral.

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