Thursday, March 24, 2011

ICE: A good idea

Simple ideas with intuitive pass-it-on appeal are rare. This is one of them.

I have huge respect for paramedics, ambulance officers or whatever they are called in your region (in Oz, they are often affectionately known as "ambos"). They save lives more or less on a daily basis and are frequently first on the scene of dangerous and sad situations. I have personally benefitted three times from their care (once I got to travel in an ambulance with sirens blaring, but since I lived about 400 metres from a major hospital my excitement was short-lived) and can't count the times I've seen them help those around me. Anything that makes their job easier is worth consideration.

So the idea is to store an emergency contact number on your mobile under "ICE" (In Case of Emergency). That way, first responders (which could include police or firefighters) know who to call if, God forbid, you are dead, unconscious or otherwise unable to indicate an appropriate contact. This helps you to be identified, allows quick access to critical medical information and gives your loved ones peace of mind. This idea has only been around for a couple of years, but is catching on quickly.
If you have more than one contact, use ICE1, ICE2, ICE3 and so on. If your phone is locked and requires a pass phrase to access, see here. There is an alternative language independent version of the same idea here.