The ICE concept was the brainchild of Cambridge-based (U.K.) paramedic Bob Brotchie, who works for the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust. Sheriff Cummings has contacted the U.K. based emergency service agency and is promoting the ICE program in Barnstable County in partnership with Cape Cod Police Chiefs, Fire Chiefs, and local hospitals.

Most accident victims carry no next of kin details, yet most carry a mobile phone. There is no simpler way of letting the emergency services know whom to contact should you be involved in an accident than by using ICE.

Standing for "In Case of Emergency", ICE will allow ambulance crews, fire fighters, and police officers to quickly contact a nominated person who can be informed of the incident.



  • Type the acronym ICE followed by a contact name (for example, ICE - mom or ICE - David) into the address book of your mobile phone.
  • Save their phone number.
  • Tell your ICE contact that you have nominated them.


Follow these hints to get the best out of ICE:
  • 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 work.
  • Make sure your ICE person'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 a parent or guardian authorized to make decisions on your behalf - for example if you need a life or death operation.
  • Should your preferred contact be deaf, then prefix the number with ICETEXT.


Is ICE a virus?

The ICE (In Case of Emergency) scheme gained widespread coverage in the wake of the London bombings as word spread by email throughout the world. People can add into the mobile’s address book ICE and the name and number of the person they would like contacted in an emergency.

Email hoaxers are threatening the campaign to encourage people to store contact details in their mobile phones. An email circulated by malicious hoaxers suggests that ICE is a type of mobile phone virus which accesses your address book and drains pay-as-you-go phones of its credits. Matt Ware, spokesman for the East Anglian Ambulance Service, asked people to ignore the hoax email. “I have been inundated with emails and phone calls from people worried that, having put ICE into their mobiles, they are now going to be charged for the privilege,” he added. “We would like to assure people that that’s not the case. Whoever began this second email chain is obviously a malicious person with way too much time on their hands.”