Saturday, October 31, 2009

We learned first hand the value of ICE

As you can tell by all the photos posted here recently we have just returned from an extended vacation to the West Coast and back. During our trip we had three separate stressful situations happen. First, the Old Salt became ill and we had to call an ambulance to take him to the ER. Second, we lost our cell phone. Third, we were driving down the street and came across an elderly man lying unconscious on the sidewalk with only a cell phone and no ID.

At the time we had not yet entered the ICE code into our cell phone. Luckily, when Frank got sick I was with him. The person who found our cell phone was very caring and scanned our phone for the ICE entry to use it to return our phone. Not finding it but finding the entry entitled Mom he called that number and got ahold of my Mother who new how to contact the person we were visiting so our phone was quickly returned.

In the third case we called 911 and with the help of another person who also stopped administered CPR. The man did not have ICE in his phone when the paramedics checked and the police began knocking on doors in the neighborhood looking for someone who knew the man. Regrettably, the old man died right there on the sidewalk from the heard attack he had while out walking. He was several blocks from home with no ID. No one in the neighborhood was outside on a hot New Mexico afternoon so he laid there until we drove by on our way to Frank"s nieces house, which was in the next block. It took quite some time for the police to be able to identify the old man.

Knowing that both the Paramedics and the police checked that old man's cell phone for the ICE code, and having just learned that the person who found our cell phone also new to look for the ICE code, we entered it into our cell phone right then.

Today I received an e-mail suggesting that you use more then one ICE entry on your cell phone incase the first can't be contacted. So we immediately added two more ICE numbers to our phone. Now if we have an emergency the authorities have three options to call and will hopefully reach one of the three.

I suggest that you read the following message written by the police chief of our neighboring town of Eureka Missouri which appears on the City of Eureka's official website and follow his advice. We have and we sure wish that old man in Albuquerque would have done the same. Put ICE in your cell phone now. It may save your life or the life of a loved one. Or it just may get your lost cell phone returned. Either way you win.

ICE - In Case of Emergency

Have you put ICE in your mobile?

WHY: You might not carry "In case of emergency, notify X" in your wallet or purse or car, but I'll bet you carry a cell phone. And what about your spouse? Your teenagers? Putting ICE in a cell phone contact list - along with a name and telephone number - enables Emergency Services (Fire, Police, EMTs, Paramedics, ER personnel) to contact the right people in the event of an emergency.

HOW: Create an entry in your cell phone directory for ICE (In Case of Emergency) where you list the number you want a paramedic to call if they find your inert body on a sidewalk. For multiple numbers, create ICE1 and ICE2 entries, and you may help ES a little more by entering them as ICE1 - Spouse and ICE2 - Mom entries.

WHERE: From CBS: A campaign to use cell phones to help in the treatment or identification of accident and disaster victims has taken off worldwide since the recent bomb attacks in London. Mobile phone users are being urged to enter a number in their phone's memory with the acronym ICE, for In Case of Emergency, with the contact person's name and number.

Paramedics or police would be able to swiftly to find the number and use it to reach a relative or friend who could help identify deceased victims and treat injured ones, by providing vital personal information, including details of any medical conditions.

ICE is the brainchild of British paramedic Bob Brotchie, who told The Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen Tuesday the idea came to him "just from reflecting on difficulties I've had in obtaining information about patients. The vast majority of people don't carry emergency contact details or next-of-kin details, but the vast majority of people carry cell phones."

While the campaign had already been launched, it had limited impact until the first series of London blasts. Those explosions rendered many victims unidentifiable, which sparked an e-mail campaign to spread the ICE idea around the world.

Do it right away while you're thinking about it and spread the word to your family, friends and co-workers!
Chief Michael A. Wiegand
Eureka Police Department
120 City Hall Drive
Eureka, Missouri 63025
(636) 938-6600
FAX: (636) 938-6602

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this sobering reminder!
    Tho' CPR/AED certified for the last 5 years, deep inside I've always wondered if I'd have the courage to employ those skills if necessary.
    When DH went to replace his cellular a few months ago, we were surprised to see that Verizon had not one, but two pre-set buttons, marked ICE1 and ICE2!



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