Yes, ICE… IS for everyone! Other than Bob Brotchie’s original concept, of placing an ICE contact on our mobile phone, there are a whole host of other products available to allow paramedics and hospital staff find our medical and/or next of kin information. There are various apps available (for android and iPhones), ICE cards and ICE labels; there are even ICEbelts so that we can have important information attached to our child’s seatbelt or baby car seat.
When we joined Bob in ‘Celebrating 10 Years of ICE’ this year, it really made me aware of the impact that ICE has had… and will continue to have. Like myself, and many others out there, I had a vague knowledge of ICE but didn’t make the effort to use it; it was always on my mind but something that I put off. Thinking back, this was a mistake as now I am hearing many stories from around the world of people who were thankful that they had an ICE contact.
So, What’s Been Happening?
ICE – In Case of Emergency was launched in 2004 but since revamping Bob’s website for the ‘celebrations’, I was amazed at the response to his campaign and as I said, the effect it has had on others. We have since updated Bob's website, added Responders Resources and published an FAQ. What has also been wonderful to see, is the amount of people who have actively been keeping ‘ICE alive’. They are doing this by not only raising awareness but coming up with new ideas or products that will help in emergency situations. A couple of examples are Wanda Rafaely and Laura Greenwald; both have produced well thought out products to help others ‘in case of emergency’.
Firstly, I met Wanda who created an ICE app specifically for those with autism; I must also mention that ICE4Autism is the ONLY autism-specific ICE app available. The app includes excellent, in-depth features to aid those with autism who may not be able to communicate effectively in an emergency situation AND it provides a first responder with the specific information they need to treat the individual appropriately.
Then… I met Laura who created something for the ‘other side’ of ‘In Case of Emergency’. Laura and, her mother, Janet were introduced to emergency preparedness when a Jumbo Jet crashed across the street from their house. Yes, really! Then, they experienced the family tragedy of when Laura’s grandmother (Elaine) was admitted to hospital and the staff failed to notify the family. Laura and Janet not only missed the opportunity of being at her bedside but also the chance of preventing the drug interaction that took Elaine’s life. These events, spurred Janet and Laura into creating several resources, like the ICE My Phone Kit and other books that help families be prepared for an emergency. As previously mentioned, they also tackled the ‘other side’ of ICE by creating Notify In 7 which is a valuable resource providing tools for those in the medical field to facilitate next of kin notifications. Added to this, Janet and Laura joined forces with legislators in both Illinois and California to enact three ‘Next of Kin’ laws and Bob and Laura are now working to provide tailored versions of Notify In 7 for use in other countries.
AND I must ask again… “Have you ICE’d your mobile phone?!”