Arnold was at a paramedics' conference recently and happened to pick up a copy of USA Today, which had an article about a British paramedic who came up with the idea of asking cell phone users to enter ICE numbers. The paramedic launched the campaign in Britain in April, and it really took off after the London bombings.
E-mails have been circulating about incorporating ICE, but so far Arnold doesn't know of any local drives to get it implemented.
Gearing up to start a regional campaign, Arnold said he can think of nothing easier to help emergency personnel do their jobs more efficiently in an industry where seconds can mean the difference between life and death.
"I wouldn't be dialing their cell phone before administering medical needs when at a scene, don't get me wrong. But we can call them from the ambulance on the way to the hospital, or a co-worker can call."
What about "no signal" areas?
And what about those dreaded "no signal" areas, pretty common around the Garrard County rural areas?
"We have an external antenna on our trucks that helps us get a better signal, and we're always in contact with 911 dispatchers. As long as we have the number, we can use any phone or radio system to get in touch with the person," Arnold said.
Arnold had an eerie recollection of working a fatal accident some years back on Ky. 52, toward Paint Lick, when a driver was hit head-on by a cement truck.
"He had to be cut out of the car, but his pager was going off as we were doing it, and we couldn't find out where the call was coming from. I knew that someone was worried and trying to get a hold of him," Arnold said, adding that in the worst case scenarios, it helps to have a contact person for notification of death.
ICE also can be used to get consent for treatment at hospitals in cases of kids under the age of 18. "There's such a thing as implied consent, but it would help to have the added security, knowing that as a parent, a medical professional has the option to contact you immediately about your child."
Arnold plans an aggressive campaign, starting with a quarterly meeting for area emergency providers that is coming up in October.
"I've already talked to Ephraim McDowell, which has been excellent in supporting us on things like this, and they're very interested in helping us get the word out," Arnold said, adding that other ideas should be shared during the meeting in October about spreading the word to local schools and other groups. "It just seems like everyone has a cell phone these days, even middle school kids. We may even see if we can contact cellular companies and get their help on this."