Cambridge-based paramedic Bob Brotchie came up with the idea after struggling to get contact details from shocked or injured patients.
Mobile phone giant Vodafone has joined the campaign and is urging motorists to enter the acronym ICE – for In Case of Emergency – into the mobile’s phone book, and log the name and number of someone who should be contacted in an emergency.
Vodafone has revealed research which suggests that more than 75% of people carry no details of who to contact in the event of an emergency in their mobile phones.
Brotchie said: ‘It’s difficult to know who to call. Someone might have ‘mum’ in their phone book but that doesn’t mean they’d want them contacted in an emergency.
‘Almost everyone carries a mobile phone now and, with ICE, we’d know immediately who to contact and what number to ring. The person may even know of their medical history.’
Vodafone spokesperson Ally Stevens added: ‘By adopting the ICE advice, your mobile will now also help the rescue services quickly contact a friend or relative – which could be vital in a life or death situation. Most company car drivers will have a company phone so fleet managers and the HR department could easily encourage drivers to store an ICE number – and it will be beneficial to all.’
The campaign is also asking people to think carefully about who will be their ICE partner, particularly if that person has to give consent for emergency medical treatment.
Campaigners hope that all emergency services will promote ICE in their area.