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 Wednesday, July 23, 2008
ITU standard assists rescue workers to notify victim's next of kin - Global mobile phone directory code for use in emergencies

Emergency workers searching for next-of-kin contact information for an injured person now have a globally recognized way of doing so, thanks to a new standard from ITU.

By simply prefixing the Arabic numericals 01, 02, 03, and so on to a nominated contact, such as "01father", "02wife" or "03husband" written in any script in the mobile telephone directory, will help emergency workers in any part of the world identify contacts in order of priority and notify them.

ITU will work with non-profit organization ICE4SAFETY to promote this new way of identifying an emergency contact in a mobile handset's directory.

"In Case of Emergency" — or ICE — has emerged in some English-speaking countries encouraging people to list emergency contact numbers in their mobile phone’s directory in the form of "ICE father", for example, or "ICE doctor". However, this precludes people who do not use or recognize the Roman script from readily identifying what the term "ICE" represents. ITU members expressed the need to identify emergency contacts independent of language or script. [More...]