Sunday, December 17, 2017

In Case of Emergency (I.C.E.) Program

Isabella County Office of Emergency Management encourages all citizens who have cell phones to consider adding one of your phone contacts as ICE.

In Case of Emergency (I.C.E.) is a program that enables first responders, such as paramedics, firefighters, and police officers, to identify victims and contact their next of kin to obtain important medical information in the case of an emergency your are seriously injured, unconscious and unable to respond yourself.

The program encourages people to enter emergency contacts in their mobile phone address book under the name "ICE" (ICE without the quotes). Alternately, a person can list multiple emergency contacts as ICE1, ICE2, etc.

Additional suggested tips:

  • Enter the contact name as ICE, ICE1, ICE2, etc.
    • Use that contact's best phone number
    • Include the contact's name
    • Let the contact know you are using them as a ICE contact in your cell phone
  • Place the ICE information on a card located with your official photo ID (in case your phone is damaged in the accident or not with you)
  • Wear medical alert bracelet / necklace with important medical information.

Some possible drawbacks:

  • A cell phone can be damaged to the point that information stored in it is no longer retrievable. This is a good reason to use a non-electronic form such as ICE information card stored with your official photo ID as back-up.
  • Cell phones come in many different brands and varieties, and how to retrieve stored information may not be immediately apparent to a first responder unfamiliar with your type of phone.
  • Many cell phone users secure their phones with a PIN number to prevent unauthorized use.

Other issues to consider:

  • The information above does not insure a first responder have time or the need to look for or use any of the ICE information you provide. The information you provide may be of more use to hospital personnel.
  • This program is not a official mandate, but is does make use of technology many people already have to further assist medical professionals in treating and identifying victims who cannot respond for themselves.
  • As with everything, some people could use the information include on your ICE contact information to scam your emergency contact into releasing information about you that shouldn't be released such as your social security number, date of birth, and other information that could help them steal your identity.

Please consider the pros and cons of before using the information above.