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ICE campaign

In case of emergency...
Just doing my bit and passing on this Press Release from the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust:

A Cambridge-based paramedic has launched a national campaign with Vodafone to encourage people to store emergency contact details in their mobile phones.

Bob Brotchie, a clinical team leader for the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust, hatched the plan last year after struggling to get contact details from shocked or injured patients.

By entering the acronym ICE – for In Case of Emergency – into the mobile’s phone book, users can log the name and number of someone who should be contacted in an emergency.

The idea follows research carried out by Vodafone that shows more than 75 per cent of people carry no details of who they would like telephoned following a serious accident.

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.

“It’s difficult to know who to call. Someone might have “mum” in their phone book but that doesn’t mean they’d want them contacted in an emergency.

“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.”

The campaign was launched this week by Bob and Falklands war hero Simon Weston in association with Vodafone’s annual Life Savers Awards.

Vodafone spokesperson Ally Stevens said: “The Life Savers Awards already demonstrate, through practical example, the important role a mobile phone can play when minutes matter in an emergency.

“By adopting the ICE advice, your mobile will now also help the rescue services quickly contact a friend or relative – which could be vital in a life or death situation.”

The campaign is also asking people to think carefully about who will be their ICE partner – with helpful advice on who to choose – particularly if that person has to give consent for emergency medical treatment.

Bob hopes that all emergency services will promote ICE in their area as part of a national awareness campaign to highlight the importance of carrying next of kin details at all times.

He said the idea was for the benefit of loved ones as well as the patient.

“Research suggests people recover quicker from the psychological effects of their loved one being hurt if they are involved at an earlier stage and they can reach them quickly,” he added.

He said he hoped mobile phone companies would now build the ICE contact into future models, adding: “It’s not a difficult thing to do. As many people say they carry mobile phones in case of an emergency, it seems natural this information should be kept there.”

This seems an excellent idea (despite some possible flaws – how do I know how to work someone else’s phone?), and I’d encourage you to support it, stick a number in your mobile, and pass on the information… And thank you, of course, to the reader who passed this on to me. For more information on the campaign, see the ICE website.

On another mobile note, you can now access this very site via your WAP-enabled mobile. Just point your WAP browser to sjhoward.co.uk/mobile, or text ‘sjh’ to 60300 to have the link sent to your phone (texts cost 25p). As always, full details are in the Site Guide.

This post was filed under: Technology.

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Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)


    15.12, 12/07/2005

The Guardian’s Online has picked up on this now, via the Press Association. It was also apparently featured on this morning’s Today programme – I didn’t hear it though, so I must have slept through that bit.




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