Skip to main content

4-year-old uses Touch ID, Siri to call emergency services for unconscious mother

Updated March 2017: This article has been updated with information about the recent iPhone 108 "prank" and using Siri to contact emergency services.

A 4-year-old boy in London saved his mom's life by calling emergency services on her iPhone.

The woman reportedly fell unconscious in their home with only 4-year old Roman, his twin brother, and a younger brother there with her. The boy used his mother's thumb to unlock her iPhone and asked Siri to place a call to emergency services. Paramedics arrived a mere 13 minutes later. The woman reportedly regained consciousness in their home and was taken to the hospital for further treatment.

Police chose to release an audio recording of Roman's call to emergency services in the hopes that it'll encourage parents to teach their children how to respond in an emergency situation. You can listen to the audio in this article from the BBC:

Boy, 4, uses Siri to help save mum's life

I've also transcribed the call below:

999 Operator: Hello, police. What is your emergency?

Roman: Hello, I'm Roman.

Operator: O.K. where's your mummy?

Roman: She's at home.

Operator: And where are you?

Roman: At home as well.

Operator: Can you do me a favor? Can you go and get mummy?

Roman: We can't, she's dead.

Operator: You said mummy was there, what do you mean she's dead?

Roman: It means that she's closing her eyes and she's not breathing.

Operator: Right, so do you know where you live?

Roman: Road, 22.

Operator: Can you go to your mummy and shake her for me?

Roman: She's not waking up.

Operator: Give her a good shake and shout out, "mummy".

Roman: Mummy! … It didn't work.

Operator: Are you in Kenley?

Roman: Yes, Kenley.

Operator: What's your name?

Roman: Roman.

Good on 4-year-old Roman for his resourceful response to what had to have been a very frightening situation!

Using Siri to contact emergency services

You may have heard about a recent "prank" that's surfaced wherein iPhone users are being told to say 'Hey Siri, 108' to their iPhones which results in the phone placing a call to 911. 108 is the number for emergency services in India; the phrase is akin to saying, "Hey Siri, call emergency services." The feature is meant to be used in situations like Roman's where dialing emergency services may not be possible.

Mikah Sargent is Senior Editor at Mobile Nations. When he's not bothering his chihuahuas, Mikah spends entirely too much time and money on HomeKit products. You can follow him on Twitter at @mikahsargent if you're so inclined.

11 Comments
  • Perhaps today's WikiLeaks revelation that APPLE has been embedding secret firmware code to enable spying in Mac and iPhone products could allow CIA to call 911 for you? They've never been proven wrong...EVER. https://wikileaks.org/vault7/darkmatter/?cia
  • I just read that article. It says CIA created a method to crack the Mac. It did not say Apple has been embedding code from CIA. Can you please point me out the line in the article that says Apple did this along with the CIA?
  • Sure...5th paragraph down...https://wikileaks.org/vault7/darkmatter/ Also included in this release is the manual for the CIA's "NightSkies 1.2" a "beacon/loader/implant tool" for the Apple iPhone. Noteworthy is that NightSkies had reached 1.2 by 2008, and is expressly designed to be physically installed onto factory fresh iPhones. i.e the CIA has been infecting the iPhone supply chain of its targets since at least 2008.
  • The inference that since CIA had a technology to infect factory fresh iPhone, means that Apple complied to it sounds ridiculous to me. Its like saying I had a gun since 1999, that means I've been killing people since 1999.
    Apple has been advertising that they are fighting backdoor entry for so long. Off course the CIA had a technology. There is a good possibility that CIA tried to force Apple to comply. Does that mean Apple actually complied? I don't think so. I just went through the document mentioned. It says how to install the technology. Does not say it was actually installed in the production line. What the technology actually is, is that you can buy an iPhone from a store, install NightSkies 1.2 and hand it over to someone and it will seam like a brand new iPhone to them. Thats what the technology was meant to be used for. The inference in the article is just outrageous.
  • In either case...the iPhone is SUSCEPTIBLE to middleman sales having this installed. For something like that to happen, it sounds reasonable that the CIA needed to have access to Apple engineers or some special knowledge of how to access/embed the firmware in an unsuspecting manner to the end user. Tim Cook could clear this up, no? Apple products are NOT as secure as they say then, are they?
  • There you go. You got your response
    https://www.macrumors.com/2017/03/23/apple-addresses-wikileaks-cia-docum... You did not think of all the possibilities before making some serious allegations on a company that is known to work hard on protecting customer data. 1) The document was from 2009. That does not mean, every iPhone after that was susceptible. Apple could have fixed it in 2010. Which it did, as per the statement.
    2) Hackers dont get help from Apple to hack the iPhone. Thats how hacking works. someone finding a way to exploit the system, without the help of the system engineers is called hacking. So no, Apple need not have helped CIA.
    3) This is just a simple case of hackers trying to hack and engineers trying to outsmart hackers. CIA did not have some special exploit. It was a well known exploit that was well known in the hacker community, that got fixed quickly. As quickly as humanly possible. However, the article makes a fool out of technically illiterate people and made it sound like it was Apple trying to help CIA.
  • We shall see...Wikileaks called Apple's response today deceitful.
    https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/845086059704827904 - WikiLeaks' response They've got Kim Dotcom (Mega upload guy) fooled too I guess:
    https://twitter.com/KimDotcom/status/845114748551098368
  • Such a deceitful message from Wikileaks. If Apple was a airline company, they are saying "We found this machinery problem that could possibly lead to a crash and fixed it long back. the document wikileaks leaked is old information and everyone concerned already knows it". For which wikileaks is responding "Machinery problems are not zero day. Even if you fix one, a new one may exist and lead to a crash. This is proof that Apple has been scheming a crash along with terrorists all along." This is essentially the translation of what is going on here. They are essentially accusing that Apple is purposefully helping CIA and they claiming that they are fighting it. I don't know what people get in accusing Apple of such atrocious claims, without any proof whatsoever. May be they get personal ego gratification by making such allegations. May be they feel important and feel like a freedom fighter or something like that. May be they feel that they are winning an argument. May be they are deluding themselves into seeing Apple in evil light. More than 100 years ago, Upton Sinclair wrote "It's difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends upon his not understanding it." Guess something like that is happening here.
  • Clever boy, children should be taught these things. Isaiah Heart.
  • Indeed! Also make sure they know their address. I was amazed he thought to unlock the phone with his mom's fingerprint. Figured he would have pressed the Emergency button and dialed emergency. Guess Siri needed the phone unlocked to call anyone though (which was a good thing in this case). Sent from the iMore App
  • Good job Roman