Your mobile could save a life.

The most obvious way is by using it to dial 999 (or 111 for non-emergencies), but your mobile phone may have other life-saving uses too. 

Here are some useful things to remember:

  • You can use your phone to text 999 too. See our SMS page for more information
  • You can often use a mobile phone to ring 999 even when it is locked (e.g. if it belongs to someone else) by pressing the ‘Emergency’ link.
  • ‘No Service’ doesn’t always mean that there is no signal at all. If your provider doesn’t cover the area, another might, so it’s worth trying.
  • Keep the phone turned on allowing the Emergency Services to contact you.
  • Set up your iCE information (In Case of Emergency) on your phone. See below on how to do this.
  • Many smartphones have a torch function (which may help the Emergency Services locate you in the dark).

Setting up an ICE (In Case of Emergency) Contact

When a patient who is unconscious or unable to speak comes into the emergency room, hospitals worldwide check their smartphone for an iCE contact, to help them locate their next of kin.

Everyone in your family should have an iCE contact in his or her smartphone.  In fact, you should have two just in case the first contact is unavailable.

Firstly, decide who your iCE Contacts will be.

The first one is likely to be your spouse, partner, best friend or close relative.  Someone that you want there with you at the hospital or, if need be, making decisions on your behalf.  But if that person is also injured, or is unavailable it would be useful to have an additional iCE Contact – someone who you would trust to handle things until your main iCE contact can be contacted.

To set up your first iCE Contact.

Add a new contact and in the Name Field, don’t put the name of your contact in this field, only the word ICE.

The basic information you need to include:

  • Your emergency contact’s name, main phone number, mobile number, work number and relationship to you.
  • Email Address, Twitter or Facebook addresses (these are useful in case you need to send that contact an emergency message or quick update), their locality.
  • Include as much information as you can. If people are injured in a large emergency, like a flood or terrorist attack it’s possible that not every type of communication will be working.  Use the available fields and describe the relationship of your iCE contact to you. For extra information, you can use the Notes section. Notes holds quite a bit of information, so simply use it to add the miscellaneous information you need to communicate (e.g. list of allergies, medication you are currently taking, and any other information that a healthcare professional might need to know.

Ensure every member of your household not only has iCE Contacts set up on his or her phone, but that everyone’s phone contains all of the contact information for every other family member. That way you’ll be able to get in touch with each other as quickly as possible in an emergency.