Saving Lives With ICE

Saving Lives With ICE

by Joanne Hanlon, January 2010

"A movement is underway to turn the ubiquitous cell phone into a source of information for paramedics and other emergency personnel responding to accidents…" wrote Elyse Andrews in USA Today. That movement was ICE: In Case of Emergency.

British paramedic Bob Brotchie has been hailed as the originator of the concept. With more than a decade of helping accident victims, Brotchie and his colleagues could only do so much to help unconscious patients. With no way of knowing who to contact to learn more about the patient, they could only treat the injuries in the context of the accident, rather than the person's medical history.

So Brotchie came up with the ICE concept. As Andrews wrote in 2005, Brotchie's idea was simple. Anyone with a cell phone should use one of their contact entries for ICE. Instead of entering a name, cell phone users should enter the word "ICE". Within the entry, users should include their emergency contact's phone number. This way, a first responder treating someone unconscious at the scene of an accident can quickly call and learn more about their patient.

Five years later the ICE concept has grown globally. First responders know to look for ICE, and companies like LegalZoom have used technology to take the concept to the next level. With their free new iPhone ICE App, LegalZoom has taken Brotchie's original concept and used technology to create something potentially even more life-saving: an ICE App that enables first responders to access critical medical information that people have put into the ICE App for the specific purpose of making this information available in an emergency.

The ICE App includes fields for blood type, existing medical conditions, current medications, allergies to foods or medicines, physician contact information, insurance information, and multiple emergency contact names and numbers, and more.

Thousands of LegalZoom customers, friends, family, and ICE fans from around the world have been downloading the free App, and you can too. Just click here, or to learn more about the ICE App, visit

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USA Today