In Case of Emergency

"ICE" In Case of Emergency:

A Campaign Started in England to Simplify Contact in Emergency Situations



The Vodafone Life Savers Awards – which honor men and women who have saved a life in extraordinary circumstances - are launched today with a campaign to urge everyone in Britain to store next of kin details in their mobile phones. By entering the letters ICE – ‘In Case of Emergency’ – into the mobile’s phone book, users can log the name and number of someone who should be contacted in an emergency. The idea, developed by the East Anglian Ambulance Trust, and backed by Vodafone, follows research that shows a staggering eight out of 10 of us fail to carry any details of who we would like telephoned following a serious accident.

Vodafone spokesperson, Ally Stevens, said : “The Life Savers Awards already demonstrate, through practical example, the important role a mobile phone can play when minutes matter in an emergency.“By adopting the ICE advice, your mobile will now also help the rescue services quickly contact a friend or relative – which could be vital in a life or death situation.”

Paramedic Bob Brotchie approached his bosses at the East Anglian Ambulance Trust with the simple idea after discovering most accident victims carried no next of kin contact number.“In an emergency, where the patient is shocked or unconscious, we need to find out as quickly as possible who we’re dealing with”, he said. “The majority of people now carry mobile phones - so the ICE number would give emergency services immediate access to someone who knows the casualty – perhaps even their medical record - making everyone’s job easier.”

The campaign is also asking people to think carefully about who will be their ICE partner - with helpful advice on who to choose - particularly if that person has to give consent for emergency medical treatment. 

Vodafone is now inviting all emergency services to promote ICE in their area as part of a national awareness campaign to highlight the importance of carrying next of kin details at all times.“Nothing is worse than discovering a loved one has been in a serious accident – but you didn’t know about it at the time”, added Ms Stevens. “With nine out of 10 people telling us they carry their mobile phone at all times, and a further half admitting one of the reasons for originally purchasing it was in case of an emergency, ICE is just another way in which a mobile phone can play a vital role in your life – and perhaps even save it.”

This year’s Vodafone Life Savers Awards, endorsed by the Royal Humane Society, will be inviting nominations from the emergency services as well as members of the public who have saved a life. Celebrity judges include Falklands war hero Simon Weston, This Morning TV presenters Fern Britton and Philip Schofield, Claire Sweeney, Martin Kemp,  Nell McAndrew, Jane Asher and Michael Buerk. Last year’s winners included Bruce Hosie from Aberdeen who defied experts by lifting the weight of a car with his bare hands to rescue a trapped child and Corporal Darren Swift who single-handedly rescued an injured climber from the summit of Mount Everest.

Commenting on the ICE campaign, judge Simon Weston said: “The whole idea is brilliant, purely and simply because of modern lifestyles. People find themselves in all different circumstances and if you’re in an accident, unable to communicate.“So ICE is just so sensible a project and campaign. I wholly endorse it and I also feel privileged to be involved in the Vodafone Life Savers Awards again this year.”

The 2005 Life Savers will be honored by the Prime Minister at a special reception at Number 10 this Autumn before receiving their awards at a star-studded luncheon at London’s famous Savoy hotel. Helping launch the awards Prime Minister Tony Blair said : “I am delighted to support the fourth year of the Life Savers Awards. The prospect of risking one's own life to save another requires a huge strength of will.“The brave people who have been previously nominated for these Awards have shown themselves to be true heroes, who do not need to think twice when faced with a life or death situation. They are fantastic examples of courage and fortitude and must never be undervalued - they are a true asset to this proud nation.”

Nominations can be made by contacting the awards hotline on 0870 902 3333 or visiting

          ***HOW TO ACTIVATE ICE***

Simply go to ‘Contacts’, select ‘Add New Contact’, enter the letters ‘ICE’ under the name followed by the telephone number of your next of kin (ensure both daytime and evening numbers are included if possible)


  • Make sure the person whose name and number you are giving has agreed to be your ICE partner
  • Make sure your ICE partner has a list of people they should contact on your behalf – including your place of word
  • Make sure your ICE partner’s number is one that’s easy to contact, for example a home number could be useless in an emergency if the person works full time
  • Make sure your ICE partner knows about any medical conditions that could affect your emergency treatment – for example allergies or current medication
  • Make sure if you are Under 18, your ICE partner is either your mother or father or an immediate member of your family authorized to make decisions on your behalf – for example if you need a life or death operation