Local News

New ID Campaign Gains Popularity, Raises Questions

Posted July 30, 2005

— Over the past several weeks, the Wake County Emergency Medical Services has received an increasing number of calls from citizens wanting to know: Can ICE help save their lives during an emergency?

This new grassroots Internet campaign allows people to put a listing in their cell-phone address books so paramedics can quickly call emergency contacts and get possible life-saving information about victims.

While ICE, or

In Case of Emergency

, sounds good, local emergency officials said, the campaign might actually hurt and not help area paramedics.

"The nature of our business is we won't have time to do that," Chief Skip Kirkwood, director of Wake County Emergency Medical Services, said. "Our concern is with assessing victims' medical conditions and getting them to the hospital."

Kirkwood said the ICE campaign caught on after the London subway bombings.

He believes the email originated from a British emergency worker who had good intentions for improving Britain's emergency system. Kirkwood said EMS operates differently in the United States.

But, Kirkwood said, he didn't want to completely melt the ICE campaign.

He said having emergency contact information on cell phones would help hospitals and law enforcement officials notify loved ones


an emergency.


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