iPhone 14 Emergency SOS Helps Put Out Fire in Rural Ontario
Two Missanabie residents sprang into action this weekend, extinguishing a wildfire that erupted on Dog Lake, located just outside the small northeastern Ontario community. One of the heroes? Apple’s Emergency SOS feature via Satellite, exclusive to the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro.
Local residents Warren Thibodeau, owner of the Northern Walley Lodge, and angler Orel Crack, alongside Wawa firefighter Craig Spooner, promptly navigated their boats to the fire’s location upon spotting it.
SooToday reader Eric Belanger documented the daring firefighting effort, submitting photos and videos of the duo tirelessly dousing the flames.
The fire, according to Aviation, Forest Fire, and Emergency Services, was reported to be 0.2 hectares in size. Located on the west side of Dog Lake, across from Rabbit Island, the fire was approximately 7 km west of Missanabie, a small community nestled northeast of Wawa.
The impromptu firefighting team used their boats to spray water around the burning island until the fire was eventually extinguished. According to Belanger, they managed to secure assistance from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) using the new GlobalStar emergency feature of the iPhone 14 as they approached the fire.
Dog Lake is located below, about 4 hours north of Sault Ste. Marie by car:
“With iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models, you can use Emergency SOS via satellite to text emergency services when you’re out of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage. You can also use the Find My app to share your location with people via satellite,” explains Apple’s website regarding the feature.
“Emergency SOS via satellite can help you connect with emergency services under exceptional circumstances when no other means of reaching emergency services are available. If you call or text emergency services and can’t connect because you’re outside the range of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage, your iPhone tries to connect you via satellite to the help that you need,” according to the feature on Apple’s website.
In his report, Belanger also noted that a camper named Marc G. from Dog Lake Cottages and Campground returned to the island the day after the incident. The MNRF was found to be in the process of cleaning up the aftermath of the fire, further validating the residents’ swift and successful efforts in preventing a potentially more serious incident.
Apple says satellite connections might not work in places above 62° latitude, such as northern parts of Canada and Alaska. Without Emergency SOS via Satellite, that fire could have grown and spread beyond control.