In case of emergency (ICE) is a programme that enables first responders, such as paramedics, firefighters, and police officers, to identify victims and contact their next of kin to obtain important medical information. The program was conceived in the mid-2000s and promoted by British paramedic Bob Brotchie in May 2005. It encourages people to enter emergency contacts in their mobile phone address book under the name "ICE". Alternately, a person can list multiple emergency contacts as "ICE1", "ICE2", etc. The popularity of the program has spread across Europe and Australia, and has started to grow into North America.
Following research carried out by Vodafone that showed that fewer than 25% of people carry any details of who they would like telephoned following a serious accident, a campaign encouraging people to do this was started in May 2005 by Bob Brotchie of the East Anglia Ambulance Service in the UK. The idea has taken off since the July 7, 2005 London bomb attacks.
"I was reflecting on some difficult calls I've attended, where people were unable to speak to me through injury or illness and we were unable to find out who they were. I discovered that many people, obviously, carry mobile phones and we were using them to discover who they were. It occurred to me that if we had a uniform approach to searching inside a mobile phone for an emergency contact then that would make it easier for everyone."
Brotchie also urged mobile phone manufacturers to support the campaign by adding an ICE heading to phone number lists of all new mobile phones.
With this additional information and medical information, first responders can access this information from the victim's phone in the event of an emergency. In the event of a trauma, it is critical to have this information within the golden hour which can increase the chances of survival.