Add 'Ice' To Your Cell Phone: In Case Of Emergency


A man out on a walk collapsed and died of a heart attack two weeks ago.

He carried no identification -- his body lay in the morgue as a John Doe for several hours until the man's wife reported him missing.

Public safety personnel say situations like this are all too common.

A lack of identification often hinders their ability to treat patients who can't communicate, said Rob Beery, a Payson paramedic.

To help responders contact next of kin, public safety personnel are asking Rim Country residents to ICE their cell phones.

"A lot of people carry their cell phone," Beery said. "If we can ID them, it definitely helps us all the way around."

ICE stands for "In Case of Emergency" and it works like this: In a crisis, paramedics scroll through your cell phone, looking for ICE numbers.

When they find one, they call the designated person, who can then describe your wishes and health conditions.

The program is free and easy.

Simply store numbers in your cell phone and home telephone, placing the ICE designation before an entry such as ICE HUSBAND or ICE SON.

"If somebody has a chronic problem and they're not wearing identification, (the situation) could literally be a matter of life and death," Chuck Jacobs of the Houston Mesa Fire Department said.

For more information on the ICE program, contact your local fire department.

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