The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is joining with rescue personnel in asking people to program on their cell phones’ address book ‘In Case of Emergency’ (ICE) contacts as a way to easily reach a family member or emergency contact should an illness or accident render one unconscious. In conjunction with this announcement, ASSE will be distributing to thousands of its members ICE information including a power point presentation describing how and why this can be done.
“With over 190 million people in the U.S. with cell phones and even more worldwide, ICE can help emergency personnel in quickly identifying an injured individual and his or her next of kin in minutes instead of hours,” ASSE member John P. Spath, CSP, of New York, explains. “This helps emergency workers provide the best care possible.”
Making ICE a common practice for cell phone users will help make it a routine measure for police, fire, and other emergency personnel to check cell phones when necessary, Spath adds. ICE is free and only requires a cell phone to use it. Even when carrying personal identification (ID), such as a driver’s license, it is still recommended to use ICE, because an ID does not contain the names and phone numbers of next of kin, medical history or any other information that emergency personnel may need in assisting a patient.
Individuals can program a new contact in their cell phone address book with the letter’s ICE followed by the name and phone numbers of their emergency contacts. If adding more than one ICE contact, mark the primary contact as ICE1, such as ICE1-John Doe, ICE2-Jane Doe, and so on. These individuals should agree to be the ICE contact, and they should be supplied with the individual’s family contacts, primary physician, work contact and also medical history, which should list allergies, current medication, and previous medical procedures. Individuals under the age of 18 should list their guardian, mother, or father as their ICE contact.
ASSE members will have available information on ICE, including a power point presentation on how to use the ‘In Case of Emergency’ cell phone system, available for downloading for free.