IPhones and Apple Watches are 'butt-dialing' 911 dispatchers

IPhones and Apple Watches are 'butt-dialing' 911 dispatchers

In response, an Apple's spokesperson said this: "We're aware of 911 calls originating from our Elf Grove fix and refurbishment facility".

Though Apple Watches and iPhones make it easier for individuals to get hold of 911 dispatchers quickly, the Watch's accidental calls issue has been a known problem for a while now.

In an interview with CBS News, police dispatcher Jamie Hudson reported that "We've been seeing these calls for the last four months from Apple..."

According to a local report, there have been about 1,600 accidental calls to 911 from the Apple facility since October 2017, which translates to about 20 per day.

Per day, Elk Grove police said they received 20 accidental emergency calls from the Apple facility and Hudson said this can be risky as it takes valuable time away from teams who could be responding to genuine emergency situations.: "The times when it's greatly impacting us is when we have other emergencies happening and we may have a dispatcher on another 911 call that may have to put that call on hold to triage the incoming call".

When the calls come in, there's no one on the other end of the line, but dispatchers can sometimes hear people in the background talking about repairing Apple products.

"We take this seriously and are working with local law enforcement to investigate the cause and ensure this doesn't continue", an Apple spokesperson told CBS 13 Sacramento.

I suspect that one or more Apple techs at the Elk Grove fix center are placing iPhones to be fixed in some kind of clamp that presses the power and volume buttons and holds them down.

On the Apple Watch, simply holding down the power button dials 911. Although for some, these features are life-saving, they are also a fatigue for many. Sgt. Shaun Hampton, sheriff's spokesman, said the department has been less affected than Elk Grove police but is providing data to help Elk Grove officials, who are working directly with Apple to resolve the problem. Just by pressing a single button, an SOS alert toggles on and 911 calls are placed immediately.

Faster access to emergency services is a useful feature to have, but loses its effect if call centers are unable to separate real emergencies from accidental calls.