ICE was originated and promoted by British paramedic Bob Brotchie, beginning in 2005. Based on his own experience of using patients’ cell phones to find contact information, Bob selected ICE as a consistent way for people to label – and responders to search for – primary points of contact in a medical emergency.
Simply label your primary emergency contacts with the ICE acronym; “ICE – Mom” or “ICE-Terry.” Emergency responders can then quickly search your phone contact lists for these numbers. Bob’s website, incaseofemergency.org, strongly recommends that you have a conversation with each person you have labeled as an ICE contact, so they are aware they could be contacted during a medical emergency.
As more people carry smartphones and more phones are locked to prevent unauthorized use, does the ICE program still have merit? App developers have created tools to make ICE information available even when the rest of your phone remains locked.
Typical ICE apps allow you to list information such as your name, date of birth, allergies and relevant medical information, as well as the names and telephone numbers of people you would want to be contacted.
We do not recommend a specific app, but these programs are available for iPhones and Android smartphones. Many are available without charge. Read the user reviews and carefully check the privacy settings of a specific app before you download one onto your phone.
Source: Minnesota Department of Health