Apple upgrade blamed for thousands of 911 emergency hang-ups

CBS New York:

911 dispatchers in Nebraska say an Apple upgrade is to blame for a rise in the number of unintentional calls.

Sarpy County Communications in Papillion said it has received 7,000 abandoned calls so far this year, taking up valuable time and resources that could used for true emergencies.

Officials say an Apple upgrade is to blame for the rise in abandoned 911 calls. They say if you hit the button on the side of an Apple iPhone enough times, it will ask if you want to call 911.

“If you push a button too long, or one of the buttons, it may be a pre-programmed thing to call 911, or SOS. It may ask you, but if it’s in your pocket, you don’t know,” said William Muldoon, the communication director.

MacDailyNews Note: You can change your settings so that holding the side button won’t call emergency services automatically:

• Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and tap the My Watch tab.
• Tap Emergency SOS.
• Turn off Hold Side Button.

If you turn off this setting, you can still press and hold the side button on your Apple Watch until the Emergency SOS slider appears and use the slider to make an emergency call.

1 Comment

  1. That just happened to me in a market this week. The sound it makes was odd and it was hard to locate the source. Others in line said it was me, but I was unconvinced until I checked and cancelled the call.

    911 responders do not appreciate hang ups, so I very quickly received a call back. I apologized and said it was a “pocket call”, which was accepted, and the event was over.

    I’ve now disabled the Hold Side Button.


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