How does it work?
Storing next-of-kin details in your mobile phone can assist the emergency services if you’re unable to tell them who to contact.
Simply use your mobile’s phone book to store the name and number of someone who should be contacted if you have an emergency – but add the letters ICE in front of their name.
ICE stands for ‘In Case of Emergency’ - it’s what the emergency services will look for if you’re involved in an accident and have your mobile phone with you.
On most mobile phones you simply need to select ‘contacts’ and choose ‘add new contact’, then enter the letters ‘ICE’ at the beginning of the name, followed by the telephone number of your ICE partner.
Make sure you choose a number that’s easy to get in touch with – a home number could be useless in an emergency if the person works full time. We recommend that you enter daytime and evening numbers where this is possible.
What should I do next?
Make sure the person whose name and number you are giving has agreed to be your 'ICE partner'. You should also make sure your 'ICE partner' has a list of people to contact on your behalf, such as your place of work.
In addition, they’ll need to know about any medical conditions that could affect your emergency treatment, including allergies or medication.
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.
Storing an ICE number makes it easier for everyone if you’re involved in an accident.
Other alternatives to mobile phones
You can also buy ‘In Case of Emergency' dog-tag style and credit card type USB data storage devices.
USB data storage devices can provide emergency service personnel and Accident and Emergency Departments with specific personal details and important medical details and conditions.
Emergency service workers are aware of these and other similar devices, and will actively check patients and casualties who are unable to communicate for whatever reason to see if they have these in their possession.
Our local Accident and Emergency Department at the general hospital are also aware of them and are able to use them.