Emergency Stories August 28

Update: The NYPD has issued a statement in which it says the phones were provided as part of a contract that allowed it to change devices after two years, and that it will begin the switch to iPhone in the fall. It claims that the phones were provided ‘at no cost’ but does not explain how they were paid for. 

The New York Police Department is being forced to scrap 36,000 Windows Phones bought just two years ago as part of a $160M mobility project. The move has been forced by Microsoft’s decision to cease support for the platform as of last month.

The NYPD now plans to replace the phones with iPhones by the end of the year, according to a report …

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Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon are all offering free service in areas hit by Hurricane Harvey as they describe the efforts they are making to keep networks up and running, while AT&T issues credits.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that across the entire region, 96% of cell sites are working, though only 5% of sites are operational in Rockport, Texas, near where the hurricane made landfall …

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Emergency Stories August 10

Emergency services organizations around the world are calling on Apple to implement a location feature which they say would save thousands of lives.

Advanced Mobile Location (AML) is a capability built into carrier networks which can automatically identify the exact position of someone making a emergency call with pin-point accuracy. Google added support for it in Android last year, but Apple has so far not responded to requests to implement it in iOS …

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Emergency Stories April 18

Smartphone use while driving may explain end to 40-year decline in road deaths

Smartphone use while driving may explain last year’s reversal to a 40-year decline in U.S. road deaths, it has been suggested.

Emergency Stories June 7, 2016

Mother uses Hey Siri to call ambulance while performing CPR on 1-year-old daughter

An Australian mother used the Hey Siri function of her iPhone 6s to call for an ambulance while performing CPR on her 1-year-old daughter who had stopped breathing.

Emergency Stories March 10, 2016

A patent application describes how the Apple Watch and iPhone could work together to detect medical emergencies like a heart attack, and automatically call 911.

While the patent wording doesn’t specifically name either the Apple Watch or iPhone, the meaning of one electronic device cooperating with another one seems pretty clear.

An occurrence of one or more “care events” is detected by an electronic device monitoring environmental data and/or user data from one or more sensors. The electronic device transmits one or more alerts regarding the detected occurrence to at least one other electronic device. In some cases, the electronic device may cooperate with at least one other electronic device in monitoring, detecting, and/or transmitting.

Apple says that the setup could detect a range of emergencies, and take appropriate action depending on the severity – ranging from sending an email to a family member at the low end to calling 911 in the most urgent of cases …

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