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75% of NZ'ers carry no next of kin details

7 August 2005

Seventy-five per cent of New Zealanders carry no next of kin details

Vodafone New Zealand launches In Case of Emergency initiative

It’s simple. It’s sensible. And it could help save your life.

The In Case of Emergency (ICE) initiative, launched in New Zealand today by Vodafone, encourages people to enter next of kin details into their mobiles for use in cases of emergency.

Based on the successful United Kingdom ICE initiative, the ICE concept allows emergency services to quickly contact victims’ next of kin through accessing their mobile phone directories. Vodafone New Zealand is now calling on those 75% of Kiwis who don’t carry next of kin details to get on board.

Setting up the ICE action is easy.

- Type the acronym ICE into your contact book
- Follow that with the name of your next of Kin - for example ICE Dad or ICE Mum
- Enter the number with a * at the end - Adding a * to the end of the number when programming it into your mobile will avoid Caller ID renaming this contact ICE. Entering the * will still enable the call to be successfully connected.
- Tell your ICE contact that they have been nominated.

Emergency services would activate this by going to “Contacts” on the phone and then selecting “ICE.”

Vodafone says new statistics by independent research agency TNS on next of kin details backs up the call for ICE in New Zealand

While 75%* percent of Kiwis say they do not carry next of kin details, 83% of people
who carry a mobile have considered it a lifesaver.

“If you’re in an accident and in shock or unconscious, the In Case of Emergency concept is an easy and effective way of giving emergency services’ access to vital information on you when every second counts,” says Vodafone General Manager for Brand, Evangelia Henderson.

“This really reinforces the valuable and positive role mobiles can play in people’s lives.”

The ICE concept also has the support of St John, the provider of emergency ambulance services for most of New Zealand.

St John Chief Executive, Jaimes Wood, says storing next of kin details on mobiles will be useful in an emergency, though it should not be relied on as the only way.

“We anticipate there will be benefits for ambulance and emergency service personnel from ICE listings in mobile phones but next of kin and other important information, such as medical conditions and medication, should also be included in wallet cards, diaries and other similar personal items,” says Wood.


The ICE concept was developed by the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust in the United Kingdom. Paramedic Bob Brotchie approached his bosses at the Trust with the simple ICE idea after discovering most accident victims carried no next of kin contact number.

“In an emergency, where the patient is shocked or unconscious, we need to find out as quickly as possible who we’re dealing with,” Brotchie said.

“The majority of people now carry mobile phones - so the ICE number would give emergency services immediate access to someone who knows the casualty – perhaps even their medical record - making everyone’s job easier.”

Brotchie said he was delighted that Vodafone had taken on the idea in New Zealand.

“I still find it hard to believe how this has spread around the world so quickly,” he added. “I’m really pleased that the whole issue of emergency notification is being discussed by so many people and that so many different organisations and even governments are backing us.”

Vodafone New Zealand, which is committed to making a world of difference in the communities in which it operates, wants all Kiwis with a mobile to take 30 seconds out of their day to add an ICE contact.

More information on this initiative, and how to set up an ICE contact, is available on Vodafone’s website - see www.vodafone.co.nz/ice

ICE Advice:

Make sure the person whose name and number you are giving has agreed to be your ICE partner

Make sure your ICE partner has a list of people they should contact on your behalf – including your place of work

Make sure your ICE partner’s number is one that’s easy to contact, for example a home number could be useless in an emergency if the person works full time

Make sure your ICE partner knows about any medical conditions that could affect your emergency treatment – for example allergies or current medication

Make sure if you are Under 18, your ICE partner is either your mother or father or an immediate member of your family authorised to make decisions on your behalf – for example if you need a lifesaving operation.

ENDS

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