A father who sustained serious injuries after falling off his bike in the woods was saved by his Apple Watch, which alerted emergency services to his location.
Bob Burdett was out mountain biking in Riverside State Park in Spokane, Washington, on September 15 when he suffered a nasty fall, flipping his bike and knocking himself unconscious after hitting his head.
Fortunately, Bob was wearing his Apple Watch at the time, which not only sent a text to his son saying it had ‘detected a Hard Fall’, but also notified emergency services and shared his location with them.
Bob’s son Gabe has spoken out about the ‘amazing technology’ which helped save his father’s life, taking to Facebook to urge others to make use of the ‘hard fall’ feature on the watch.
Alongside pictures of his dad’s injuries, Gabe wrote:
Last Sunday while trying to meet up with my dad for some mountain biking in Riverside State Park (MTB in RSP), I get a text from dad’s Apple Watch letting me know it ‘detected a Hard Fall’ with a map to his location.
It was not far from our meeting spot. We drove straight there – but he was gone when we arrived. I get another update from the watch saying his location has changed with a map location of SHMC.
Dad flipped his bike at the bottom of Doomsday, hit his head and was knocked out until sometime during the ambulance ride. The watch had called 911 with his location and EMS had him scooped up and to the hospital in under a 1/2 hr. The fire dept. took his bike back to the station.
The concerned son also provided an update on Bob’s condition to his followers, saying he was ‘doing great’ after his X-rays and CT scan came back clear. He added that he was ‘a little sore for sure’.
He then gave the following words of advice to Apple Watch owners:
IF YOU OWN AN APPLE WATCH, set up your HARD FALL detection – it’s not just for when you fall off a roof or a ladder.
Had he fallen somewhere on the High Drive trails or another remote area, the location would have clued EMS in on where to find him. Amazing technology and so glad he had it!
The fall detection feature comes with Apple Watch Series 4 or later, with the gadget tapping you on the wrist and displaying an alert if it detects a ‘Hard Fall’. It also sounds an alarm, with the user then being given a choice to contact emergency services or dismiss the alert by tapping ‘I’m OK’.
As per Apple, if your watch detects that you have been immobile for around a minute, it begins a 30-second countdown while tapping you on the wrist and sounding an alert which gets gradually louder so that you or someone else nearby can hear it.
If it still doesn’t detect movement and once the countdown has ended, the watch will call emergency services automatically. After that call ends, your watch will send a message to your emergency contacts with your location.
Wrist Detection must be turned on for your watch to automatically call emergency services.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).