Apple Watch summons help after 81-year-old takes a driveway fall

Apple Watch series 8
(Image credit: Future / iMore)

An Apple Watch has successfully called emergency services while its wearer was unable to get up following a fall. The 81-year-old man says that he “just can’t rave enough” about his Apple Watch following the fall.

The story goes that the man was sitting on a chair on his driveway and trying to change the oil in his snow blower when he tried to move backward. That was enough to see him topple over, banging his head and shoulder on the way down.

“That was a mistake. I backed up, alright," the man said in an interview with KARE 11. 9to5Mac was the first to spot the report.

Sensing the fall, his Apple Watch used the Fall Detection feature to call for help. After emergency responders answered, the man asked them to send a police officer to help him get up — thankfully, he didn't need medical attention.

A police officer who happened to be a minute away was able to attend and help the man to his feet. He says he originally bought his Apple Watch to monitor his heart rate, but it's already proven much more useful.

The Apple Watch Fall Detection feature is supported by Apple Watch Series 4 and newer as well as the Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Ultra. If a fall is detected the wearable automatically calls 911 if no action is taken within one minute. The feature requires either a cellular Apple Watch or a connected phone to be within range.

While the Fall Detection feature is normally disabled by default on watches worn by people under the age of 65, it's one that can be manually enabled by anyone who wants it. A similar feature, called Crash Detection, is enabled by default and causes an Apple Watch to call emergency services if it suspects its wearer was involved in an accident.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.