While the iPhone 14 Car Crash Emergency service saved car crash victims this week, false calls are costing Emergency Services Big Bucks
In a new NBC Now video published today, we're able to see the Angeles National Forest Monkey Canyon car crash site where the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department tactical rescue team were called into action after receiving an emergency call from an iPhone using Apple's new safety features.
Authorities say it's a miracle two people had only minor injuries after their vehicle plunged hundreds of feet off the road and into a canyon Tuesday in California.
A man and a woman in their early 20s fell about 300 feet when their vehicle veered off the road into Monkey Canyon in Angeles National Forest, about 30 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. John Gilbert said.
The area is notorious for poor cellphone service, but the pair, who were in a Hyundai, were able to alert authorities where they were with iPhone 14 SOS technology that communicated their latitude and longitude to rescuers, Gilbert said, adding that they also used two-way messaging.
“It’s a miracle in several senses,” Gilbert said. “Nearly all of the vehicles that go over the side of the road in that particular area turn out to be fatalities. For them to survive the crash — is a miracle.
“The fact they had a piece of technology that survived the crash and it worked as advertised and got rescue to them in a timely manner is another miracle.” For more, read the full NBC News report.
That certainly was a miracle for those in the crash this week to be sure. The Apple team responsible for that new service must feel great to hear that their work saved lives.
Yet Apple's new Apple Watch Ulta and the new safety software does have its problems that are costing Emergency Agencies thousands of dollars in associate rescue fees based on false emergency iDevice messaging.
It was reported just yesterday by CTV News in Canada, that "Members of search and rescue teams in the southeast corner of British Columbia are dealing with false alerts thanks to Apple's new crash detection feature."
The report further noted that "some first responders are complaining they're getting sent alerts from skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers who don't actually need their help.
Peter Reid, a member of Kimberley Search and Rescue: "In our case, it was an older gentleman whose daughters gave him an apple watch in order to keep track of him. He was out cross country skiing and discovered that the watch was sending out panic messages to his daughters and to us as well."
Golden Search and Rescue, meanwhile, says they've received three alerts in two days from people who didn’t need help, apparently caused by simply falling down or making quick movements. Reid says helicopter rescue calls cost the province upwards of $10,000 per incident, and if they're sent to a bogus call it diverts their resources from those who truly need it.
Obviously Apple still has some work to be done. If Emergency Services around the world decide to bill Apple directly for these False Alerts, I'm sure that a fix this would be expedited.