November 4th, 2010
11:00 AM ET

iReport daily challenge: #BeAHero for emergencies

Editor's Note: Learn about the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2010 and vote for the CNN Hero of the Year at

[Updated, 4:40 p.m.] Thanks to everyone who participated in today's "Be A Hero" challenge to ICE your phone. A special shout-out to commenter Summaiyah, who told us, "I had never even heard of the ICE strategy, but just added it onto my phone. I've always just added 'HOME' to my contacts, but this idea sounds a lot better."

We were also happy to hear from a bunch of folks who ICE'd their phone a long time ago - including CNN iReport Facebook fan Diane Kukal-Arnold, who wrote:

"I learned about the ICE, added it to my phone, and now my kids have it on theirs too, also told all my Facebook friends about it too! We laugh that my husband is 'ICE Brian,' or when we're teasing him about his title, it's 'Ice Ice Baby.'"

Check back tomorrow for the next "Be A Hero" challenge.

[Original post, 11:08 a.m.] If you were lying unconscious somewhere, would rescuers know who you were? Would they know how to notify your loved ones?

In an emergency, your cell phone can be a lifeline, CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen writes today.

So today we’re challenging you to “Be A Hero” for your safety:

Put your emergency contact into your cell phone under the name “ICE” (In Case of Emergency), the acronym that EMTs know to look for. Example: ICE-William or ICE-Dad.

If your phone is password protected, put the information on a piece of paper and put it in your wallet. has a free downloadable card you can fill out with your emergency information. Make sure your ICE contact is someone who knows your medical history.

You can also choose an app that puts the information (or an icon leading to it) on the front screen of your phone so it's easy to find. Jared makes one for your BlackBerry and Polka makes one that goes on the front screen of your iPhone, which will work even if your phone is locked.

Let us know what you did in the comments below, or on iReport. We’d also love to hear about any other ‘In Case of Emergency’ apps you’re using, or if a cell phone ever saved your life or the life of someone you know.

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Ron Adams

    I was a firefighter and EMT for 40 years and being able to use the ICE on a cell phone is very very important. If you arrive especially at a auto accident and the person or persons are injured it really helps to be able to use the cell phone and look up ICE and contact someone and advise them of the emergency. I recommend that everyone put one or more ICE into their cell phone, more than one is recommended in case one of them is not reachable.

    November 4, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • dsashin

      Thanks Ron!

      November 4, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Summaiyah

    i had never even heard of the ICE strategy, but just added it onto my phone. I've always just added "HOME" to my contacts, but this idea sounds a lot better.

    November 4, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bob Brotchie

    Thank you so much for raising awareness even further!
    ICE was conceived by me in 2005 and has become 'the' globaly accepted acronym – to place in your Cell.
    Of course ICE in the cell was and is so easy to do, but was always intended to raise general awareness around 'preparedness' whenever we go out. That is why I teamed up with Tim Green at ems-options with his 'smart-ice' app and Mark Balduzzi from ICE4SAFETY. THese guys, along with many other supporters around the world, work tirelessly, and from their own pockets, to keep the campaign for safety, preparedness and personal accountability at the forefront of your daily considerations.
    Best wishes and please share this story.

    November 5, 2010 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. Mark Balduzzi

    Thank you all for this informative piece and participating on being better prepared using ICE! As Bob Brotchie mentioned, we have in fact dedicated a considerable part of our lives since 2005 in this effort to make others safer . ICE4SAFETY and EMS-Options in cooperation with other safety professionals continue to develop innovative ways for people to use ICE in their communities whether it be at home, work, travel or recreation.

    The new ICE4SAFETYwebsite is in design phase and out shortly making the whole process of learning about and using ICE even easier! Create your own forms online – anytime and for need to subscribe to third parties. ICE is after all a Do-it-Yourself (DIY) concept. We've submitted the idea of using ICE to help better prepare communities for emergencies to FEMA as part of the National Preparedness Challenge Contest. We think it is a "no brainer". Let us know what you think.

    Again, thank you again for this effort your kind words and using ICE! and

    November 5, 2010 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |

    Great to see the public more involved......

    November 5, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |

    The easiest way to program a cell phone is to use the internationally recognized E.123 Method that is non-language dependent and ensures that emergency contact numbers will be the very first up on any contact list – the prefix ICE requires first reponders to search your more step. 01EMERGENCY 02DOCTOR 03TRANSLATOR etc.
    See all about using ICE at and and (Smart-ICE Medical App)
    Free ICE Kits are available from the website....thanks.

    November 5, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |

    Did everyone get the links above??

    November 5, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mark Balduzzi

    Looks like the moderator quit......

    November 7, 2010 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |