The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

17 August 2005

ICE isn't so cool

Put an "In Case of Emergency" entry on your cell-phone? Don't bother. D. Bunny explains why:

  1. It's not the paramedics or the ER staff treating you that will contact your family; it's the cops or the hospital social workers / chaplain / admission staff. They will look in your wallet and/or medical records for an emergency contact. (As a paramedic, I'd love how I'd be doing CPR on someone, my partner and the fire crew scrambling, and the family member would say, "Call my uncle James and tell him to meet us at the hospital!" Um, no. Kinda busy now.)

  2. Looking in a wallet is much quicker and easier than trying to figure out the phone book on infinite models of cell phones.

  3. You need more than one emergency contact anyway.

  4. Your cell phone may not be with you, or may not survive the incident that rendered you unconscious or dead. Most people always carry a wallet, and a wallet doesn't need to be charged, and can survive a high-impact motor vehicle accident just fine.

  5. Important info (medical conditions, allergies) may not be easily obtained from a shocked and traumatized emergency contact, even if they are reachable. WRITE IT DOWN. Medical history, meds (including dosages), allergies. DATE it. Carry it with you in your wallet. (Medical professionals always look in your wallet — FOR AN INSURANCE CARD! Ha ha, I slay me! But it's true.)

  6. If your cell phone IS with you, and survives whatever has tried to kill you, it's pretty easy for the cops or whoever to find your last name on your drivers license, then call all the people with the same last name in your cell's phone book. Don't have the same last name as your family? Then put an emergency contact card in your wallet, since (are you getting the message yet?) they will look in your wallet first!

Um, I don't have any last names in my cell's phone book.

Otherwise, this seems eminently sensible to me.

Posted at 1:32 PM to Listing to One Side

TrackBack: 10:33 PM, 17 August 2005
» ...or not to ICE from Random Jottings
Drunkbunny says skip the ICE (emergency contact info) on the cell phone (which I blogged about previously) and just put your medical info on a card in your wallet... I started out as an EMT, then a Paramedic, then......[read more]

D Bunny's observations are pretty much what I thought of "ICE" when I read about it a few weeks ago...if the entire world was made up of tech-savvy folks, then it might have a chance...but short of that, it's a very long shot.

Posted by: david at 9:52 PM on 17 August 2005

My last name won't even fit in my cell.

Posted by: Matt at 11:14 AM on 18 August 2005

One advantage to ICE is that I only carry a drivers license and cell phone when I ride my bike (not at Hefner, but a ride to Jones or Piedmont, etc.). So, having the ICE is the best way for someone to grab the cell phone out of my little bike bag and call.

I did consider programing my ICE number to be 911.

Posted by: Chris at 4:32 PM on 18 August 2005

Well, of course they'll look in your wallet first, but it doesn't hurt to have that ICE number, too, does it? Like Chris, I am often without wallet but with cell phone, so they may not know who I am unless they call the ICE number. I'll keep my info in my wallet, too.
Your ICE fan,

Posted by: Jan at 7:14 PM on 18 August 2005