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First responders in Manchester, Tennessee, reported a 5x increase in Apple’s Crash Detection false alarms in this year’s Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. According to the team, they worked with Apple to manage the situation, with the Manchester Police Department encouraging attendees to deactivate the feature during the event.

Over 80,000 individuals attended the festival. However, while it was terrific for many, the annual four-day music festival became a nightmare for Manchester’s first responders. In a story detailed by local news outlet WKRN, the team shared how the false 911 reports bumped multiple times bigger than the ones they experienced in the previous years.

Fortunately, Director of Coffee County 911 Communication Center Scott LeDuc reported that the false alarms didn’t impact the real emergencies that needed actual responses. The director also shared that they worked with Apple to diagnose the issue and that alerts were sent to advise the feature users to activate it during the event. LeDuc confirmed it was a success, which led to a 40% to 60% drop in false alarms.

The false alarms were reportedly triggered when the festival participants danced during the live performances. Nonetheless, this is nothing new. In a previous story shared by Dickson County first responders, the team reportedly experienced the same problem when iPhone and Apple Watch users accidentally dropped their devices. According to the team’s Public Education Officer Toni Calhoun, they receive an average of one to two false alarms a week, only to find nothing in the scene.

Despite this, the officer believed that Apple’s Crash Detection feature would be a useful resource for first responders in the future, especially when its flaws get fixed. Apple expressed the same idea, saying that crash detection tech is always evolving, and its developments are constantly being introduced in its products.

Manchester and Dickson County first responders are not the only ones experiencing the issue; other countries also reported the same problem. Unfortunately, it still persists in Apple devices supporting Crash Detection capability, including iPhone 14, Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE, and Apple Watch Ultra. With this, just like what the Manchester team suggested to Apple users in its area, it seems the only and most effective solution is deactivating the feature when it is unnecessary for certain situations.


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