Sheriff: iPhone feature to blame for more than 700 accidental 911 calls this year

A county sheriff's office in northern Wisconsin says it has taken more than 700 accidental 911 calls this year, which it attributes to an iPhone feature that can be accidentally triggered while boating or riding ATVs. 

According to the Langlade County Sheriff’s Office, more than 159 accidental 911 calls have been reported in June alone. More than 700 accidental calls have been received in 2021. 

According to the county’s dispatch supervisor, the majority of accidental calls from iPhone’s Emergency SOS Auto Call feature. When it is on, 911 is called when you touch your side button five times. It can be turned off in the settings. 

The Sheriff’s Office says people riding in trucks, ATVs and boats have accidentally hit their button five times, triggering the calls. 

If this happens to you, the Sheriff recommends you stay on the line. The dispatchers need assurance you're alright.  

The Sheriff said there are statutes and ordinances that can be enforced if accidental calls become a problem with one individual.