Lifestyle & Human Interest

Son Praises Fall Detection Feature on Apple Watch After Father Is Knocked Unconscious While Biking


A man in Spokane, Washington, is praising the fall detection feature on the Apple Watch after his father was knocked unconscious from falling off a mountain bike.

In a post on Friday, Gabe Burdett wrote that he was on his way to go mountain biking with his father at Riverside State Park when he received an unusual text.

“Emergency SOS Bob Burdett called emergency services from this approximate location after Apple Watch detected a hard fall,” the message said.

The message also included an estimated location that Burdett could follow using his Maps app.

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Burdett said the map location was not far from where he and his father had previously agreed to meet. But when he got there, his dad was already gone.

Thanks to another Apple Watch update, Burdett soon found out his father’s new location — Sacred Heart Medical Center.

“Dad flipped his bike at the bottom of Doomsday, hit his head and was knocked out until sometime during the ambulance ride,” Burdett wrote. “The watch had called 911 with his location and EMS had him scooped up and to the hospital in under a 1/2 hr.”

According to Burdett, the fire department also took his father’s bike to the station to be picked up later.

Burdett’s brother also received texts from their father’s Apple Watch and was able to be at the hospital almost immediately.

Now, Burdett wants others to know about this feature and how it helped his father get to the hospital quickly.

“Dad is doing great, clear X-Rays and CT scan, but a little sore for sure!” Burdett wrote. “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.”

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Apple Support says the feature is available on models beginning with the Apple Watch Series 4. If the watch detects a hard fall it will vibrate, sound an alarm and pop up with an alert prompting action.

If the watch detects movement, it will not immediately call emergency services, but will wait for the wearer’s response. But if there is no movement, it will call emergency services and contact your emergency contacts after a minute of immobility.

To enable this Apple Watch feature, open the Apple Watch app and tap the “My Watch” tab. Then tap “Emergency SOS” and toggle the switch on or off next to “Fall Detection.”

According to the tech company, if users enter their age in the Health app as over 65 years old, the feature will automatically turn on.

“Apple Watch cannot detect all falls,” Apple warns. “The more physically active you are, the more likely you are to trigger fall detection due to high impact activity that can appear to be a fall.”

Burdett was incredibly thankful that his father’s watch was able to help save him.

“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,” he wrote.

“Amazing technology and so glad he had it!”

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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