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Another event has been experiencing the unfavorable consequence of inappropriate handling of Apple’s emergency features. According to a report from Massachusetts’ local multimedia TV station WWLP, first responders have seen a rise in accidental 911 calls from participants in this year’s Big E fair.
The report didn’t specify the exact feature (as Apple has different SOS features in its devices aside from Crash Detection) that could have been causing this, but it noted that the West Springfield Police received almost a dozen “abandoned 911” inside the Big E event venue. As pointed out by the media outlet, the state’s law enforcement always performs welfare checks on these calls using the last known location of the devices that made the calls, but the recent calls received by the team were reportedly false alarms.
This is not new, nonetheless, as other previous events also experienced the same issue, causing the unnecessary draining of emergency resources. For instance, in June, 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. The issue reportedly started when the festival participants danced during the live performances. However, the team from Manchester worked with the iPhone maker to diagnose the case, and alerts were sent to advise the feature users to activate it during the event. Director of Coffee County 911 Communication Center Scott LeDuc said it was a success, leading to a 40% to 60% drop in false alarms.
It is unknown whether the West Springfield Police is taking the same steps or if it is coordinating with Apple to resolve the issue in the Big E event that will last until October 1. We will update this story once we get comments from both sides.