By September 18, 2006

Put your emergency contacts on ICE

I want to make sure that emergency responders have the information they need in the event that I am incapacitated in an accident (thinking particularly about my motorcycle, but also in general). I posted a thread on Ars asking for what I should put on an emergency information card I intend to carry in my wallet. While there was the general asshattery at first, including “you ride a motorcycle? Organ donor card,” one of the first suggestions struck me as so ingenious that I wanted to share it here.

APSBiker suggested the ICE contact system, which stands for In Case of Emergency. It was created by paramedic Bob Brotchie in May 2005. The premise is simple. You enter important contact information in your cell phone, using a standardized method for naming your contacts.

The format is as follows

contact ID numberICE-contact name

e.g., 1ICE-MOM

Using a number first ensures that the contacts stay at the top of you phone’s address book.

I wanted to get a little more specific, so I added the person’s relation to me as a second parameter, ala

contact ID numberICE-relationcontact name

My first-priority contact (Lady Jaye), is labelled 1ICE-WIFE-LADYJAYE. Next up I have Stilts, labelled 2ICE-FRIEND-STILTS, then my mom, labelled 3ICE-MOM-MAMA. Since my Motorola E815 supports picture identification on my ringers, I’ve applied the official ICE logo next to each of my emergency contacts. I’ve hosted it below, in case you want to use it on your own phone.

It took me about ten minutes to copy the entries on my phone and “ICE” them. You have no excuse not to do the same. It’s easy and might help save your life, or at least let emergency staff get in touch with key people in your life.

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