By Rey Anthony H. Chiu
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol February 18 (PIA) --- Putting “In Case of Emergency” (ICE) entries on your mobile phones helps emergency rescuers and paramedics identify serious victims of accidents.
In a casual talk with provincial administrator Alfonso Damalerio, he said emergency rescue unit (ERU) paramedics in Bohol have actual difficulty in identifying victims of serious accidents and informing nearest of kin about the situation.
The Bohol’s Telephone and Radio Systems Integrated Emergency Responders 117 (TARSIER 117) or town- based ERUs agreed with Damalerio that calling next of kin of unconscious or unable to talk accident victims are hard.
“This is an added service by ERUs, but picking out who among the victim’s mobile phones prove to be hard after all,” Damalerio added.
An independent phone company research showed that fewer than 25% of people carry details of the people they want to call following serious accidents.
In a specific motor vehicle accident (MVA) which Damalerio and the TARSIER responded to, he admitted it was hard to notify next of kin about the accident at that time.
The MVA victim was unconscious and responders could not get the victim’s identification, except a working mobile phone.
“The next question is who among the contacts will be notified? Who do we call in case of emergency?” Paramedics asked.
A Panglao-based foreigner that works as team leader in the country’s emergency rescue and response unit shared that “in cases like this, we have to be extra careful.”
“You just can not call or text anyone among his cell-phone contacts, for propriety sake,” the rescue expert warns.
You wouldn’t know if the entry listed as “Mom” on the phone is properly disposed to receive the shocking information; she might have heart complications that receiving the news might trigger another emergency situation, he added.
TARSIER 117 sources said in Bohol cases it is generally a hit or miss as the intention is actually as noble as notifying the family about the incident.
How to solve the situation, TARSIER 117 suggested to begin educating people on putting ‘quick contact entries’ on cell-phones such as “In Case of Emergency” or ICE.
According to Wikipedia, In Case of Emergency (ICE) is a program that enables responders such as firefighters, paramedics, police officers and well as medical personnel to contact the next of kin.
According to a veteran rescuer, it is not just for quick medical emergencies, sometimes as responders you need significant information as to items the victim has allergies to or current medical condition as some emergency responses may be counter to the victims current medical treatments.
In mid 2000, a British paramedic started encouraging people to enter emergency contacts in their mobile phone address books under the heading ICE.
It means when paramedics pick your phone by scrolling to ICE, they know at least that the victim has confidence in the person to be notified.
He said using alternate ICE contacts like ICE1 (Dad), ICE2 (Mom) and so on, can be done, he said.
Asked on cases where some cell-phone owners lock their units, he said some phones can be unlocked and working, or in extreme cases, inserting the victim’s Subscriber Information Module (SIM) pack to another phone may work, he said.
On the idea, Board Member Abeleon Damalerio said ICE makes sense and people should consider using it on their cell phones.
Responders also said a piece of paper with emergency numbers carried by the persons always works out fine, that way, “we do not have to worry about browsing through other people’s personal communications equipments.” (mbcn/rahc/PIA-Bohol)