smartphone on ice to represent the "in case of emergency" app, or I.C.E., used to save lives


Use I.C.E. to save a life

There seems to be an app for anything and everything these days, including saving the life of you or your loved ones. That's right, there's an app that could literally save your life. 

It’s called "In Case of Emergency" or I.C.E., and it is a program that allows first responders (paramedics, firefighters, police officers) and hospital staff members to reach your emergency contact without having to unlock your phone.

Every second counts when we answer a call, so using I.C.E. on your phone helps us provide care in the most extreme circumstances and could prove to be lifesaving. 

Now is a great time to make sure you and everyone in your family has I.C.E. information on their cell phones, especially smartphone-carrying students. 

In case of emergency: iPhone

For iPhones, emergency contact and health information is available to anyone from the lock screen.

  1. Open the Apple Health app, available on iOS devices running iOS 8 and later. Note: This app can't be uninstalled.
  2. Tap Medical ID in the bottom right corner.
  3. Tap Create Medical ID.
  4. At the very top, make sure Show When Locked is turned on (to green). Fill in as much information as you want. If you have no known allergies or aren't taking medication, it still helps to write "none" or "none known" so that first responders won't assume you've overlooked these fields.
  5. Make sure you assign at least one person as an emergency contact. Be sure to save that person's name and phone number in your Contacts for the Health app to be able to include it.
  6. Hit Done to save.
  7. Verify that it works. 

To make sure it works, and to help you know what to look for if you ever have to find someone else's I.C.E. information, lock your phone, then wake it up, but don't fully unlock it with the passcode or Touch ID. When you see the passcode screen, you will see "Emergency." Press it and a new screen appears with a number keypad to dial as well as Medical ID in the bottom left. Press Medical ID and your information will appear along with a phone icon that, when pressed, will automatically dial your I.C.E. contact.

In case of emergency: Android

  1. Depending on which phone you have, you might have an emergency contact feature in your phone's setting. Check there first. It might be under a sub-menu such as My Information.
  2. If you can't find an emergency contact field within the settings, there are apps for adding I.C.E. info, but you'll need one that has a widget accessible from the lock screen. 

I also recommend not relying on an app that sends emergency information via text messaging. When a true emergency is happening, first responders need to know when they've reached an emergency contact.

Be smart and add I.C.E. to your phone today!


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