ICE - In Case of Emergency

What is ICE?

ICE has been devised in response to research that shows that many people do not carry any emergency contact details with them. The ICE program, endorsed by the Palm Beach Police Department and Palm Beach Fire/Rescue, encourages members of the public to designate certain people in their cellular phones’ address book as emergency contacts and carrying an ICE card containing the same information in their wallets. ICE stickers should be placed on the cell phone and wallet to indicate to responders that emergency contact information is available.

The ICE program is offered as a service of Palm Beach Crime Watch, Inc. Participation in the program cannot guarantee that designated emergency contacts will be notified in all emergencies. The care of victims and the stabilization of the accident or other emergency scene will always be the first priority of police officers and fire/rescue personnel.

The role of the public 
People who carry a cellular phone are encouraged to add the acronym ICE (in case of emergency) to selected existing contacts in their phone’s address book. The words ICE should be inserted in front of the name. Alternatively, creating new address book entries with designations such as ICE Doctor, with contact numbers for your physician(s), can be valuable to responders. It is important to include the home, work and cellular numbers for all emergency contact people. An ICE card containing the same emergency contact information should be carried in the person’s wallet.

An ICE contact should be someone who can be reached if a patient becomes sick or injured to such an extent that they are unable to communicate. The contacts should be made fully aware that they have been designated as such and should have telephone numbers for other individuals to be contacted.

The role of the responder

All Town of Palm Beach emergency responders will be familiar with the ICE program. Emergency responders will only seek out contact information from cellular phones and/or wallets after the victim(s) has been stabilized. Police officers not actively engaged in the care of a patient or traffic control around an incident, may look for ICE contact information. Contact information may also be accessed by hospital personnel.

ICE contacts will receive basic information about the emergency situation and will be told to which hospital the victim is being transported. Responders will provide limited information about the condition of the victim(s) and no specific medical diagnosis will be given.

History of the ICE program
The ICE program was originally developed in 2004 by a paramedic in Cambridge, England after years of trying to reach relatives of people he was treating. The idea gained momentum after the London bombings of July 2005. The idea has spread throughout the United Kingdom as well as to many communities in Canada, Europe and the United States. The program is spreading rapidly throughout the country and each month more police and fire/rescue departments are becoming familiar with the ICE logo.

For more information:  Please do not hesitate to contact the Community Relations office if you have any questions about the ICE program. We encourage your participation and we are ready to assist you.

Additional ICE Materials & ICE packets are available at the Palm Beach Police Department and at all Palm Beach Fire/Rescue stations or call (561) 838-5467.

1. Designate two or three people as emergency contacts – make sure you have their home, work and cell phone numbers – and confirm that they agree to respond if needed.

2. Go into the address book of your cell phone and do one of the following:

  • Insert the word ICE in front of the names of your designated emergency contacts
  • Make new entries such as ICE 1, ICE 2, ICE 3 – or designate certain numbers as ICE Doctor, etc.

3. Complete an ICE wallet card with the same information.

4. Place ICE stickers on your cell phone and wallet so responders will know they should look for contact information.

5. Encourage your friends and family members to do the same. Additional ICE packets are available at the Palm Beach Police Department and all Palm Beach Fire/Rescue Stations.

ICE (In Case of Emergency) is endorsed by Palm Beach Police and Palm Beach Fire/Rescue.