Friday May 26, 2006 Vol. II, No. 23
By Patricia Lonergan
Orleans entrepreneur puts a tag on safety
Not only can you ICE your phone, you can also ICE yourself. Police, paramedics, fire fighters, and medical personnel have quickly adopted the ICE (in case of emergency) your phone, a campaign to get people to put emergency contact information in their address book.
But not everyone carries a cell phone, so Orleans entrepreneur Gwen Staltari wants people to keep safe by adding an ICE tag to their shoes, backpack, chain, or anywhere else a dog tag will attach. Staltari was already selling Italian charms when she heard about "ICE your cell phone." We're always looking for new and different things, Staltari said. "It just hit me like a ton of bricks with this ICE tag."
Staltari said her nephew was involved in a serious car accident a few years ago in Orleans and it took hours for the authorities to reach her sister. When the ICE your cell phone campaign came out, Staltari thought it was a great idea that could be taken another step further.
"A lot of people don't carry cell phones," Staltari said, adding cell phones are easily separated from their owner, damaged, or have locked keypads. She thought, for instance, if a kid was out bicycling and got hit by a car, the child might not carry identification or a cell phone.
Staltari came up with the product idea last July, but kept it under wraps until recently, after the trademark was approved. While waiting for the trademark, Staltari said she was out in the field talking with paramedics and fire fighters to find out what would be easy for them to identify.
The tag bears the first names and telephone numbers of two emergency contacts. It doesn't show any personal information about the carrier so parents of young children don't need to worry. Those who buy an ICE tag also get a little brochure that reminds them to ensure they tell their emergency contact person that their name has been used. Staltari suggests emergency contacts get copies of all medical and emergency information that might be needed.
"It's not just 'here's an ICE tag, carry it' kind of thing," Staltari said, adding people are really catching on. She said she has already sold hundreds of tags.