Dispatchers: Apple watches may accidentally dial 911 - WNEM TV 5

Dispatchers: Apple watches may accidentally dial 911

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Source: CNN Source: CNN

It was a big anniversary for Tim Smith and his Ottawa County, Michigan central dispatch staff.

“Fifty years ago, on February 16, was the first 9-1-1 call placed in the United States,” Smith said.

While some things have stayed the same, progress can sometimes make life more difficult for the men and women answering calls, because lately, they have been getting some strange dropped ones.

“We’d call back and find out, ‘oh, it was my Apple Watch, I was exercising or I hit it wrong or hit the wrong button.’ But we’re getting Apple Watch calls all the time,” Smith.

All the time.

About 10 per week, Smith said. Accident or not, the calls can waste resources.

“We make every effort to follow up on that call, including if we have a valid location, we’ll send an officer out if we can’t get a hold of you,” Smith said.

When officers could be out doing work elsewhere. It can happen to anyone.

“If you hold your wrist the right way with an Apple Watch, it will dial 9-1-1,” Smith said.

Also keep in mind, some three-digit-combos are emergency combinations in other countries.

“In Jamaica I believe it’s 1-1-9. In the Bahamas I think that it’s 9-1-9. In England it’s been 9-9-9 since World War II,” Smith said.

However, since your device was likely made by an international company, it will recognize it as a call for help and connect you to a local 9-1-1 center in the U.S.

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