iPhone’s Emergency SOS via Satellite Saves Family from Maui Wildfires
Apple’s iPhone 14 has proven its life-saving potential once again with its Emergency SOS via Satellite feature, which enables users to contact emergency services in areas without cellular connectivity.
With no cell phone signal available, a family trapped in a vehicle amidst rapidly erupting wildfires was unable to call for help. Fortunately, one person possessed an iPhone 14, which ultimately became their lifeline.
“Apple Emergency SOS was the only way they could get in contact with first responders. Literally saved their lives,” recounted Miraflor.
When triggering Emergency SOS, the iPhone initiates a series of questions to understand the situation before establishing a connection with satellites.
This information is relayed to specialized centers, where professionals liaise with emergency services on the user’s behalf. Notably, the conversation transcript can be shared with designated emergency contacts.
In a shared screenshot, the relay center received information about the wildfire situation, including the blocked vision and the user’s perilous location.
The iPhone’s automatic sharing of location data facilitated quick intervention.
My brother’s girlfriend’s cousin and his family were caught in their vehicle in Maui while the wildfires suddenly erupted around them.
No cell service, so Apple Emergency SOS was the only way they could get in contact with first responders. Literally saved their lives. pic.twitter.com/PpxNwTGOAf
— Michael J. Miraflor (@michaelmiraflor)
Upon receiving the details, a specialist immediately informed the fire department and dispatched first responders. The family was successfully rescued from the forest fire within approximately 30 minutes of requesting assistance.
The Emergency SOS via Satellite has garnered immense praise from search and rescue teams, being dubbed a “game changer.” It has been credited with several helicopter rescues.
In an earlier incident, two stranded travellers in British Columbia were rescued after utilizing satellite connectivity to call for help.
Emergency SOS via Satellite is currently accessible in various countries, including the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Portugal.