The ICE campaign gets official support in Australia
Posted on 29-Jul-2005 23:58
Filed under: News
The ICE campaign, developed by the East Anglican Ambulance Trust in the UK, has gained international attention since the London bombings and Telstra is now driving awareness at home so Australians may benefit from faster contact and advice in times of crisis.
Telstra Consumer and Marketing Group Managing Director, Mr David Moffatt, said Telstra next week would start sending an SMS message to more than seven million of its mobile customers and post information on its website at telstra.com to raise consumer awareness of ICE on mobile phones.
Mr Moffatt said ICE was simple and could make a positive difference in difficult times.
"So many Australians now carry mobiles phones," Mr Moffatt said. "Including ICE in your mobile is an easy step people can take that may help them in times of need.
"Mobile phone users simply enter the acronym ICE - for In Case of Emergency - into their mobile's address book and list the name and number of the person they want to be contacted in an emergency.
"It could be a family member, close friend or even their doctor. Having ICE in your mobile phone may make it quicker and easier for emergency services workers or passers by to get in contact with someone you want and who can help with vital information.
"Ideally your ICE contact should know your basic medical information, such as blood type and allergies and be able to help emergency services make decisions if needed. You could also store your blood type under your ICE entry.
"An ICE contact may be helpful not only in major accidents and emergencies, but anytime you get into difficulty, such as if you have a bad tumble or a sudden asthma attack. It could also help reassure family members of those at higher risk such as the elderly and those with an illness."
Some Emergency Services Organisations have also thrown their support behind the ICE campaign and Telstra's education efforts.
ICE was the brainchild of Mr Bob Brotchie, a clinical team leader for the East Anglican Ambulance NHS Trust. He developed the idea after struggling to get contact details from shocked or injured patients.
Mr Brotchie has said ICE can potentially benefit loved ones as well as the patient, with research suggesting that people recover quicker from the psychological effects of their loved one being hurt if they are involved at an earlier stage and they can reach them quickly.
"While we don't recommend people ever rely solely on a mobile during emergencies, mobile phones may provide the vital connection when people need it most - in times of accidents and emergencies - and Telstra is pleased to support ICE awarenessto to help contribute to the wellbeing of Australians, " Mr Moffatt said.