In Case of Emergency

Here are two ProfHacker tips I hope you take five minutes to follow but never actually have to test out.

Know your Campus Emergency Numbers
If a medical or other emergency occurred in your classroom or in a hallway on your campus, would you know the best number to call?  Of course, in the U.S., we know to phone 911 for emergencies. But depending on the size and location of your campus, calling city or county emergency personnel via 911 may not be the best first response.

Program the emergency contact number for your campus police/security or other emergency responders into your cell phone as well. Campus police know the buildings on campus, and can usually respond more quickly than city personnel, who will probably have to communicate with campus responders anyway.

If you have any questions about the recommended emergency procedure for your institution, your campus police website or office should be happy to assist you.

ICE your phone
If a medical emergency happened to you while you were on campus, how would responders know who to call? In 2005, UK paramedic Bob Brotchie started a movement encouraging people to list emergency contact numbers in their cell phone address books under the acronym ICE for In Case of Emergency.  This would aid paramedics or hospital staff in contacting family members of unconscious or severely injured patients. Although reported in US media and encouraged by some US  organizations, no statistics are available to suggest how widely this practice is in use in the US.  However, it really can’t hurt to add a duplicate listing for  someone’s phone number under the acronym ICE in your phone. (ICE1, ICE2 can also be used to list more than one contact person.)

Lists of additional information responders might need in an emergency are available, and probably worth considering if you have a pre-existing  medical condition. Two different stickers are available to put on the back of your phone to alert responders to the ICE listing.  And there’s an iphone app called SmartICE.

Of course, the best safety practices involve redundancy.  Don’t count on your phone’s ICE listing to be your only resource.  Add an ICE card to your wallet, and  take another minute to make sure that your campus human resources or emergency response profile is updated with your current emergency contacts.

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Got another emergency response tip? let us know in the comments!


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