The job of 911 dispatcher is pretty stressful but the ones in Elk, California had it worse when they had to deal with several accidental 911 calls from iPhones which were refurbished in a nearby Apple factory. A report revealed that since October, the phones at Apple’s main repair and refurbishment facility have called the 911 emergency 1500 times. At an average, this makes 20 calls per day and according to emergency workers, this takes a lot of times away from the real emergencies.
Elk Grove police dispatcher Jamie Hudson said, “The times when it’s greatly impacting us is when we have other emergencies happening. We may have a dispatcher on another 911 call that may have to put that call on hold to triage the incoming call.” Apple has not given any information on whether the devices which are making calls are iPhones or Apple watches. Since both can make the calls with only a few button presses.
The number of calls made to 911 is also not clear. Apple issued a statement that they are “working closely with local law enforcement to investigate the cause and ensure this doesn’t continue.” Apple also didn’t give any answer on how it allowed so many calls to be made for more than 7 months without taking any action. There is also no indication of how all this affected the efficiency of the emergency workers.