Thursday, July 28, 2005

Put ICE in Your Cell Phone

The 7/7 London bombings highlighted the "National "ICE" Awareness Campaign campaign that had been launched in the U.K. in April of 2005. The idea had originated with the East Anglian Ambulance service in 2004, when it suggested that people store the word "I C E " in the memory (address book) of their mobile phones, and against it enter the name, telephone number and other details of the person to be contacted "In Case of Emergency".

If the unforeseen should befall, ambulance and hospital staff will be able to quickly contact one's next of kin.It is so simple that everyone should do it. SO DO! Please do. It could save your life, and even more lives if you convince your friends and family to do the same. For more than one contact name, enter ICE1, ICE2, ICE3 and so on. The Washington Post reported on this:
The idea was conceived by Bob Brotchie, a clinical team leader for the ambulance service, after years of trying to reach relatives of people he was treating. He began the ICE initiative in April, but it gained momentum only after the bombings in London, when information about the plan spread by e-mail.

Paramedics, police and firefighters often waste valuable time trying to figure out which name in a cell phone to call when disaster strikes, according to current and retired members of the emergency services, who said they must look through wallets for clues, or scroll through cell address books and guess. Many people identify their spouse by name in their cell, making them indistinguishable from other entries.

Lt. Robert Stimpson, acting police chief of Madison, Conn. ... "I think it's a great idea. . . . It's so simple I can't believe that other people haven't thought of it before. Not only does it help emergency workers identify a responsible party when they come upon an unconscious person, it also helps identify the owners of lost cell phones,". (Washington Post)
This message about the 'ICE' Campaign has been sent around the world in e-mails, which for a change are mostly based on the truth. However, according to BBC News of 13 July 2005, there are "false" e-mail virus hoax warnings targeting the ICE Campaign. Some malicious person with time to waste is writing that "ICE" entered into a mobile phone makes it vulnerable to a virus attack or hidden charges. Virus Experts say these warnings are false and should be ignored.

Linked at basil's blog Lunch: 7/28/2005.

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