An emergency phone number programmed in a mobile phone's address book under the name ICE (in case of emergency).
In 2003, nearly 900,000 emergency victims in the United States weren’t able to provide contact information to emergency workers, according to a Qwest Communications news release. In case of emergency numbers, or "ICE numbers," as they are commonly known, are used when a person is unable to provide emergency personnel with personal information.
Elizabeth Cook, "ICE phone numbers help identify victims in medical emergencies," The Minnesota Daily, November 21, 2005
A British paramedic conceived the idea for ICE in April. The idea quickly gained traction after the July terrorist bombings in London. A national campaign is under way in the United States to educate cell phone users about the program.
Cindy Woolston, director of operations for Stanislaus American Medical Response, said the program would be extremely beneficial in cases where the victim is alone in a car crash or unconscious due to a medical condition.
"In those situations, emergency personnel can scroll to the ICE number and be able to iden-tify the patient, obtain medical history and advise the family that they have a sick or injured family member," she said.
Christina Salerno, "Emergency crews hope you'll ICE," The Modesto Bee, December 1, 2005
"The majority of people now carry mobile phones so the ICE number would give emergency services immediate access to someone who knows the casualty, perhaps even their medical record - making everyone's job easier." To activate ICE on a mobile phone, go to Contacts, select Add New Contact, enter the letters ICE under the name followed by the telephone number of the next of kin.
"Mobile emergencies," Wells Journal, April 21, 2005