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iPhone software issued 28 false emergency calls from skiers in Gallatin County this month

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EBS STAFF

Apple’s new car crash detection feature has caused 28 emergency calls to reach Gallatin County 911 this month, all of which ended up being non-emergency signals from skiers, according to a Dec. 15 Instagram post from Gallatin County Search and Rescue.

The feature uses various sensors and data to detect a suspected car crash and alerts authorities. All the calls received by the country from this feature since Dec. 1 have been from the iPhones of skiers at Big Sky Resort, Bridger Bowl or the Yellowstone Club that didn’t require emergency services, the post said.

As the technology enters the backcountry, Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue offered tips for iPhone users to avoid sending false calls to Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue:

If you notice your phone or watch sending a false emergency alert, stay on the line with the dispatcher, give them your location and activity and let them know the call was an accident. If you do not respond, Gallatin County 911 will try to call your phone number two times. If you have accidentally issued a false emergency call, Gallatin County SAR asks that you answer these calls if possible and provide the above information.

Expect to get a call from a deputy or to see ski patrol or SAR crews if you are in the backcountry. If you don’t respond to any of the previous calls, public safety personnel will likely be dispatched to ensure your safety.

While understanding that accidents happen, Gallatin County SAR in the social media post urged people to pay attention to these tips to avoid the unnecessary expenditure of rescue resources while skiing.

A later update to the post suggests that Apple has since issued an update to address false calls and Gallatin County SAR suspects this will help minimize further accidental emergency calls.

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