ICE cellphone plan helps rescuers

Do you own a cellphone? Many perhaps most of us will answer yes.

To its owner, the cellphone is an indispensable lifeline at times of crisis, reuniting loved ones separated by unforeseen events at the touch of a button.

But for members of the emergency services making life-and-death decisions, the cell poses a conundrum. Which of the numbers stored in its electronic address book should they call to reach a casualty's next of kin?

Now a simple initiative, conceived by a paramedic in Britain, has gained momentum on both sides of the Atlantic to solve the problem.

Cell users are urged to put the acronym ICE (In Case of Emergency) before the names of the people they want to designate as next of kin in their cell address book, creating
entries such as "ICE Dad" or ICE Dr. Morrison."

Your cellphone
 may be an indispensable

Enter the following
 into your cellphone directory:

ICE Family Member
ICE Doctor's Name
ICE Friend's Name

Entering more than one ICE number is a good idea for two reasons: (1) Depending on the emergency, calling your doctor first may be more important than calling Mom and (2) if you only designate one, he or she may not answer the phone.

Paramedics, police and firefighters often waste valuable time trying to figure out which name in a cell phone to call when disaster strikes. They must look through wallets for clues, or scroll through cell address books and guess.

Sometimes dialing the number for "Mom" or "Dad" might not be appropriate, particularly if they are elderly.

Don't let the negative aspects deter you; just keep them in mind.

Your next of kin's address and phone number could be accessed by someone other than a member of the emergency service or the information could become out of date. Or worse you don't want them to call the ex.


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