'In Case Of Emergency' Catching On With Cellphone Users

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

July 27, 2005

Your safety and security are becoming more of a personal concern, particularly when it comes to your possessions--your wallet, ID, and cellphone. Now its possible to modify your cellphone to increase that safety factor.

How many times have you left home without your wallet or ID, but you've always seemed to have your cell phone? Sure, with many cell phones, you make look cool. Now, you can also be safe.

"There's always an issue of what would happen if this happened to my family, explained Eric Cunningham, a cellular phone user.

Every day, millions of Amercians, go about they're daily routine while staying in touch others through cell phones. The mobile gadgets have become a great resource for talking, sending photos, or text messages. Sometimes, the unexpected happens, changing the routine.

"Obviously, everyone is concerned with their own safety, but it's not particularly...pressing on my mind all the time," said Cunningham.

While safety isn't a major concern for Eric Cunningham, it is for others especially Britons. Shortly before the bombings in London, the British started a campaign called I.C.E., which stands for "In Case of Emergency."

The idea is to store personal information under the title I.C.E., so officials can quickly notify the next of kin for someone unconscious. In the States, it's catching on, too as official see it as the next step in their current protocol.

"Instead of having to look through name after name, and try to figure out who is a relative, who is somebody that maybe...should be the first person to call, the I.C.E. designation does let people know right away," said Lee Catlin, the spokesperson for the County of Albemarle.

With an estimated 180 million cell phone users, I.C.E. has the potential to catch on, and help police officers notify those we love quickly.

"We don't always know who the person is, so that would help identify the person, and next of kin obviously," said Lieutenant Gary Pleasants, of the Charlottesville Police.

"It's pretty low-effort, and if it's going to help the police, I'd be willing to do it," said Cunningham.

I.C.E. is not connected to any government agency, but like several governing officials nationwide, our local officials endorse the campaign which is growing among average people.

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