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ICE in cell phones could save lives
By JON HETZEL
The Fulton Sun
Programming ICE - In Case of Emergency - into your cell phone next to
a loved one's name can help emergency personnel quickly find the
right individual to contact for medical or personal information.
Cell phones can be essential emergency tools for police departments
and hospitals trying to identify a victim or contact a relative.
However, when an emergency room needs medical information to save
a life, finding the right person's phone number can be
overwhelming, especially when scanning the dozens of names in a
person's phone log.
“It's one of those situations where if a person is injured or in an
accident and they don't have identification on them, we'll try to use
whatever we can to figure out who they are,” said Fulton Police
Department Lt. Rich McKee.
A movement across the nation is spurring individuals to enter the
acronym ICE next to a loved one's contact information in their cell
phones. ICE refers to “In Case of Emergency” and lets emergency
personnel quickly know what numbers to call.
For example, “ICE Johanna” or “ICE Mom” would stand out, saving
officials precious time when looking for life-saving information.
Lisa Clark, the director of the emergency room and intensive care
unit at Callaway Community Hospital, backs the acronym as a key
to obtaining medical information. She also has programed the
letters into her own phone.
“I know that from a hospital's point of view, if someone comes
in unresponsive and has a cell phone on them, we could get in
and dial the ICE number,” Clark said.
Clark said there have been times in the past she has had to use a
cell phone in the emergency room and finding someone with needed
medical information can be difficult.
That is why it is important when using ICE to make sure the ICE
contact can confirm a victim's date of birth, name, address,
allergies, blood type and previous medical history.
Callaway County Ambulance District director Charlie Anderson
said if a child's parents need to be reached to give treatment
permission, ICE could save a lot of time.
“It's not a bad idea,” said Anderson. “If you're talking about a
child or a teenager who is out on their own a lot, it would be
good for the mom and dad's number to be programed.”
ICE was conceived by Bob Brotchie, a British paramedic frustrated
with attempts to procure information about patients. A major push
for the acronym began after the London bombings last July when the
idea received more international attention.