Connecting Seniors with Care  

Cell phone lifeline: 'ICE'

More than 75% of people carry no details of who they would like contacted in an emergency situation. We all carry our cell phones with names and numbers stored in its memory but nobody, other than ourselves, knows which of these numbers belong to our closest family or friends.

It takes an average of 5 hours and 51 minutes for family members to be contacted in an emergency. That is a long time to wait for news of a loved one who may be seriously injured or unable to communicate with emergency or medical personnel.

In Case of Emergency (I.C.E.) was an idea originally conceived by Bob Brotchie, a paramedic in Britain in May 2005. He found that when he went to the scenes of accidents, there were always cell phones with patients, but they did not know which numbers to call. He thought it would be a good idea if there was a nationally recognized name for this purpose. In an emergency situation, 911 emergency service personnel and hospital staff would be able to quickly contact the right person by simply dialing the number you have stored as “ICE”. His idea was to have everyone add a contact in their cell phone named ICE. This contact would be the name and telephone number of the person they would like contacted in the event of an emergency. Many people today have an ICE contact in their cell phone.

At the scene of an accident, where there are casualties, you can make the job easier for first responders or rescue services by adding an entry in the contacts list in your cell phone under the label ICE with the names and phone numbers of people who should be called in case of an accident or injury. Simply put the acronym ICE before the names you want to designate as key contacts or next of kin — creating entries such as ICE1, ICE2 and ICE3 etc.

Inform your ICE contacts that you have chosen them as your designated contact and provide them with information that may affect your treatment. This includes all current medicines you are taking, including herbal and organic supplements; allergies that you have especially to medications but also to foods; doctors names and telephone numbers of other medical providers responsible for your regular care.

When seconds matter, by adopting the “ICE advice” your cell phone may help emergency and recuse services quickly contact a relative or friend who could be vital in a life or death situation.

I.C.E. tags are now available to wear. The tag is ideal when used alongside I.C.E. in the cell phone. By having I.C.E. in your phone as well as an I.C.E. tag, you are doubling the probability of responders seeing it and your loved ones being notified promptly. The tags are small enough to put on your key ring or on your sun visor, jacket, purse, school bag, running shoes etc.


For further information: 613-795-9138 www.iceincaseofemergency.ca

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Sharen Marteny created Seniors Consulting a division of Marteny Seniors Consulting Ltd, which assists families of seniors determine the needs and wants of seniors when living at home is no longer an option. Care Coordination is done for seniors when the family does not live in the area and provides a temporary 24-hour emergency contact to allow families to take a well deserved vacation or respite.

She is a member of the United Way Campaign and focuses on raising funds for registered charities that relate to seniors. She is also on the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission Advisory Board to ensure the products and services that seniors need will be available. Sharen's goal is to ensure that issues relevant to seniors are addressed.

She is a Certified Seniors Advisor with over 25 years experience in management and the seniors' retirement industry.



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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