Emergency number campaign launched in wake of 7/7

LONDON - A Cambridge-based paramedic is behind a national campaign, "In case of Emergency", which has been launched by East Anglian Ambulance Service and Vodafone to encourage people to store emergency contact details in their mobiles.

Bob Brotchie, who has been a paramedic for 13 years, first came up with the idea last year after struggling to get contact details from shocked or injured patients.

The idea works with mobile users entering the acronym 'Ice' -- In case of Emergency -- into their mobile phone book with the name and number of someone who should be contacted in an emergency.

The necessity of an readily available emergency contact number has been driven home by the last Thursday's terror bombings in London, which saw emergency services struggle to contact love ones after the blasts, which killed more than 50 people.

A poster, created by Cambridge-based design agency, Tarmac, features a mobile phone over a cold blue background with the letters Ice on the screen of the phone with the headline 'Have you put ICE in your mobile?'

The ad reads: "In Case of Emergency, would the police and ambulance service know who to contact? Simply type Ice plus a contact name and number into your mobile and help us to help you."

The Ambulance service plans to get the poster seen in as many public places as possible, including hospitals, GPs' surgeries, police stations and libraries.

Word is also being spread virally, with an email being circulated highlighting the campaign, and urging recipients to forward it to their friends and family.

Research carried out by Vodafone found that more than 75% of people carry no details of people they would like telephoned following a serious accident or emergency.

Brotchie, a clinical team leader for the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust, said: "I was reflecting on some of the calls I've attended at the roadside where I had to look through the mobile phone contacts struggling for information on a shocked or injured person.

"It's difficult to know who to call. Someone might have 'mum' in their phone book but that doesn't mean they'd want them contacted in an emergency."

Brotchie launched the campaign along with Falklands war hero Simon Weston in association with Vodafone's annual Life Savers Awards, which is looking for nominations.

The campaign is also asking people to think carefully about who will be their Ice partner, with advice on who to choose, particularly if that person has to give consent for emergency medical treatment.

"Research suggests people recover quicker from the psychological effects of their loved one being hurt if they are involved at an earlier stage and they can reach them quickly," Brotchie added.

Brotchie said he hopes mobile phone companies would now build the Ice contact into future models.

If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum.

Become a member of Campaign from just £77 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk , plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an alert now

Partner content