Who ya gonna call? ICE, ICE, baby

A couple of reports have found that a) we are normally never more than six foot away from our mobiles and also that we suffer withdrawal symptoms if we are parted from it for too long.

Whilst this smacks of a Society that is increasingly dependent upon, nay, addicted to mobile ‘phones, it does have an advantage in that should you be unexpectedly knocked unconscious, the Emergency Services can get hold of someone to call – ‘Mum’, ‘Dad’, ‘Aunty Maude’ for example. Brilliant.

Whoah, hang on a minute. “I’ve password protected my phone”, “I’m an orphan and my parents never had any siblings”. OK, the latter is rare, but with concerns about privacy, the former should be adopted by one and all. Quick aside. Have you switched on tracking on your Apple device? Cool, huh. If it gets nicked, you can track it, lock it and wipe it. That’ll teach them. No it won’t unless you have also password protected the whole device. Otherwise, savvy thieves will go straight to ‘settings’ and turn tracking off. IPad lost forever. If you haven’t password protected your Device, do it now. It’s not foolproof, by the way, but a lot better than an unprotected device.

Where was I? Oh, yes. Dialling for help. Here’s some stuff that you should know

ICE (In Case of Emergency)


(Yes, this is what the BBC website used to look like!)

Dreamt up by a Paramedic, it’s amazingly simple. Pick someone that you want to be contacted if you have an emergency and are incapable of communicating your wishes. In your ‘phone address book, create a new contact with the name “ICE”. Add the contact details to the ICE contact. If you have more than one Contact that you want called (in case the first is uncontactable, say) – use ICE2, ICE3 etc.

Do it. Now.

Getting around Phone locks

ICE is all well and good, but what if you lock your ‘phone? Luckily Manufacturers are cottoning on. Here are some developments that I am aware of. Feel free to add to the list.

  • Many device manufacturers have provided a mechanism to specify some text to be displayed while the mobile is in the locked state.
  • Some devices let the owner of the phone specify their “In Case of Emergency” contact and also a “Lost and Found” contact. For example, BlackBerry mobiles permit the “Owner” information to be set in the Settings → Options → Owner menu item (source: Wikipedia)
  • IPhone. You can download apps that can create a iPhone lock screen with emergency details, e.g. “Emergency Info Screen” app
  • IPhone with Siri. Siri works even if the ‘phone is locked. Press and hold the button to activate Siri, then say “Siri. Call ICE”
  • Galaxy S3. When the screen is locked there is the option to make an emergency call. If you press that the key pad comes up so you can dial 999. On the bottom left is an icon that looks like a person with a light bulb. If you press this it shows you the group of people who you have assigned as your ICE contacts.
  • Galaxy S3 (again) You can go into settings-lock screen-user information and type in a message there. I now have my name and emergency contract number scroll across the screen when it’s locked!)
  • Nokia & Windows. This would work for all others as well. TYPE “ICE” plus your number into a Word Processor. Photograph it. Set the photograph as your screensaver.

Let us know in the comments below what you think and whether you have any handy tips for allowing the Emergency Services to get hold of your nearest and dearest.

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