ICE Cell Phone Program

In Case of Emergency

The Madison Police Department is making residents known of a very simple program designed to aid emergency responders in their efforts to identify victims whose identity is unknown and/or in need of having a responsible person contacted. This program is totally voluntary and can be accomplished without the aid of your cellular provider.

The program, known as ICE (In Case of Emergency), was first developed by the East Anglian Ambulance Service in England. The premise of the program is very simple. Cell phone users are requested to make an entry into their cell phone’s address book with the indicator: ICE. This ICE number listed in their cell phone address book should contain the phone number of a next of kin or other person that the subscriber would like to have contacted in the event of an emergency. This entry could be made even more specific and equally helpful by denoting the ICE entry as: ICE MOM, ICE DAD etc., for quicker reference. Subscribers are encouraged to make more than one ICE entry in their address book in the event that one or more entries cannot be reached.


Often, people are in possession of their cell phones even when not carrying personal identification as might be the case when involved in athletic activities such as bicycling, running, walking etc.

An additional benefit to police would be to provide police officers the ability to return found cell phones to their owners when lost. Police agencies routinely come into the possession of lost cell phones that are difficult to return to their owners.