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11 July, 2005


I received this suggestion via e-mail (twice), but it's also available online.

Many people carry a mobile phone 'in case of an emergency', but it seems 75% carry no details of who they would like telephoned following a serious accident.
A paramedic in Cambridge has made the excellent suggestion that everyone adds an emergency contact number to his/her phone's 'phone book', under the standard acronym ICE.  Should the owner become incapacitated in an accident, the emergency services would immediately know who to call, rather than just guess whether 'Mum' is the most appropriate person.

It's hoped the ICE contact feature will be built into future phones. The main flaw* I can see in the basic plan is that a paramedic or police officer mightn't be able to access a PIN-protected phone book, but if ICE was stored separately, as a 'public access' function, that'd be simplified.

Incidentally, the campaign mentioned in the e-mails began in April, not a couple of days ago as a response to the London bombings, as the e-mails imply.

*: Well, the main flaw is that I very rarely carry a mobile phone....

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