With ICE designation, cell phones can save lives

TUPELO – Next time you’re upgrading the phone numbers in your cell phone contact list, try adding ICE – it may save your life.
Emergency 911 Shift Supervisor Tanya Mayo and the Tupelo Police Department are pushing for citizens to use the In Case of Emergency protocol, or ICE, so emergency workers can get in touch with someone who knows you.
As a dispatcher for E911, Mayo sees the need for this system every day.
“The ICE protocol is a way for potential victims to help us help them,” said Mayo. “First responders often encounter people who are unconscious so they can’t respond so we can help them. We don’t know if they are allergic to certain medications, or if they want certain procedures performed. That makes it more difficult for us to help.
“With ICE we can pick up their cell phones and have someone to call to get these questions answered.”
Cell phone owners are urged to put the word ICE in their contact list, with the name and number of a person to contact in case of an emergency.
If first responders come upon unconscious victims, they can pick up the phone, look under ICE and get in contact with a person who can help.
“Any tool that helps us do our job of serving the public is a good one,” said Tupelo Police Maj. Jackie Clayton. “If we come up on a person who can’t respond we have a recourse as to who to contact now. When we do pick up a cell phone to look for next of kin, the contacts aren’t usually labeled as such, so we don’t know who to call. This changes that.”
It is important to let tell your ICE contact about your plans, so they know what information to provide if an accident does occur.
Mayo said studies show 80 percent of people don’t carry emergency contact details with them, but 80 percent of people do carry cell phones.
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.


Danza Johnson/Daily Journal

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