WEIRTON - A local organization is teaming up with emergency responders in Weirton to encourage residents to "I.C.E." their phones.
The Weirton Woman's Club is working with the Weirton Fire Department and the Weirton Area Ambulance and Rescue Squad to promote the I.C.E. Your Phone program, where residents are encouraged to always carry a number to call In Case of Emergency.
According to Diane Pastoric, of the Weirton Woman's Club, the organization has been working on the project for much of the last year and the I.C.E. program is being promoted throughout West Virginia.
The Weirton Woman's Club has teamed with the Weirton Fire Department and the Weirton Area Ambulance and Rescue Squad to promote the I.C.E. — or In Case of Emergency — program. Pictured, from left, are Lt. Kevin Himmelrick, Patty Biondillo, Fire Chief Jerry Shumate, Capt. Bob Hinchee, Cathy Cooper and Diane Pastoric of the Weirton Woman's Club, Firefighter Ed Eskridge and Firefighter Brian Ritchie. -- Craig Howell
"I.C.E. can be a life saver, and the life you save may be your own or a loved one," Pastoric said.
As part of the program, residents are encouraged to include an emergency contact, labeled as I.C.E., saved into their cell phone contacts. This way, in the event of an emergency where an individual is hurt or unable to provide information, emergency responders and medical professionals can get in touch with someone for assistance.
The I.C.E. Your Phone packet includes a sticker which also can be placed on one's cell phone to alert responders to the existence of a specific emergency contact.
The Weirton Fire Department has come on board, assisting with the distribution of informational packets to residents in order to educate the public about the program.
"We're incorporating ICE into our fire safety programs," Capt. Bob Hinchee of the Weirton Fire Department, said. "People have been really receptive."
In particular, firefighters have included information on I.C.E. when visiting schools and speaking to children during Fire Prevention Month.
"We do 1,500 kids in the month of October," Hinchee explained of the department's fire prevention program in local schools.
Hinchee said the department also recently had a table set up at Kmart to distribute the ICE information.
WAARS also has been working to hand out the informational packets in recent months, making them available for free to anyone wishing to have one.
For more information on the I.C.E. Your Phone program, contact Pastoric at (304) 723-1046, WAARS at (304) 797-1233 or the Weirton Fire Department at (304) 797-8561.
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)