Have you got ICE on your mobile?

If you are ever involved in an accident or emergency, will the emergency services know who to contact? There’s a simple way to help them…!

ICE numbers were the idea of a paramedic, Bob Brotchie, and he began promoting it mid 2005.

He realised how much easier it would be for the emergency services to contact the next of kin of individuals who were unable to talk if there was a standard entry on their mobile phone.

ICE stands for In Case of Emergency.

The idea has now spread to other countries, and even dictionaries. It is now widely recommended by many authorities including Birmingham City Council.

The idea is to set up a contact on your mobile phone with  the name ICE xxxx where xxxx is the person you would like the services to contact – either their name or relationship to you. The original idea was for it to be next of kin (eg ICE Mom). But it could be a friend instead – someone who would know who to contact for you and how to contact them. If your contacts might be hard to reach, you could have more than one option in priority order – “ICE1 husband” “ICE2 parents” for example.

To help you best and most quickly, your contact should also know about any medical conditions that could affect your emergency treatment, including allergies or medication.

Ideally you should also make sure your ICE ‘partner’ has a list of people to contact on your behalf, such as your place of work. 

If you’re under 18, your ICE partner should be your mother, your father or an immediate member of your family authorised to make decisions on your behalf. Friends and other relatives won’t be able to make decisions for you if you’re admitted to hospital.

If you aren’t carrying a mobile, put your ICE details in your wallet or purse.

The idea is so simple and takes only seconds – and wouldn’t you want to know as soon as possible if your family or partner was involved in an emergency? Please encourage friends and family to put ICE on their phones, as well as doing it yourself!