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Last Updated: Friday, 5 August 2005, 05:57 GMT 06:57 UK
Backing for 'Ice' mobile campaign
Mobile phone
Saving next-of-kin details on a mobile could aid rescue services
A campaign to store emergency contact details in mobile phones has been backed by Welsh ambulance officials and the assembly government.

It claims eight out of 10 people carry no next-of-kin details - the same proportion that carry a mobile.

The idea is being promoted after rescue workers found the mobile phones of victims of the London bombings.

The In Case of Emergency (Ice) campaign encourages people to store details under 'Ice1,' 'Ice2' and so on.

The Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust said if people adopt the idea, it could "assist patients, families and crews at a time of great distress".

Chief executive Don Page said: "The Ice campaign is such a simple idea and yet very effective," he said.

"I would urge anyone with a mobile phone to take a few minutes to follow this simple step - it could prove crucial in an emergency."

It is a case of helping people in distress and getting the best and most correct information about a patient, and the best use out of a mobile phone
War veteran Simon Weston

Welsh Falklands veteran Simon Weston said: "I am thrilled that the Welsh Ambulance Service and the Welsh Assembly Government are backing the Ice scheme.

"The scheme started in East Anglia but can go anywhere and is not restricted to one mobile phone network.

"It is a case of helping people in distress and getting the best and most correct information about a patient, and the best use out of a mobile phone."

The Welsh Assembly Government believes the scheme could help at a time when "every second counts".

Deputy Health Minister John Griffiths said: "Spending time trying to contact the next of kin can delay the start of treatment.

"If everyone follows this advice and puts an Ice number into their mobile phones any such problems can be overcome."

Phone company Vodaphone and the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust recently quashed rumours that Ice was a hoax .

A prank e-mail had claimed that entering the acronym would unleash a virus that drained pay-as-you-go phones of credit.

Both organisations have asked customers to ignore the scam which they branded "malicious".


SEE ALSO:
Emergency plan faces e-mail hoax
13 Jul 05 |  England


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