Bob Burdett was on his way to meet his son for an afternoon of mountain biking at Riverside State Park in Washington when things took a drastic turn. As he rode down a hill, nicknamed Doomsday Hill, he lost control and flew off his bicycle. His head slammed against the ground and he was knocked unconscious.
But as he lay unconscious, help was on its way.
Bob’s Apple Watch called 911. He had set up the device’s fall detection, which alerts emergency personnel if the watch detects a hard fall and the wearer remains immobile for 60 seconds. Once emergency services are contacted, the watch alerts the wearer’s emergency contacts and sends them the person’s location.
“He didn’t remember flipping his bike and he didn’t remember anything really happening until he was in the ambulance and even then he was pretty out of it,” his son Gabe told KREM.
Within a minute, Bob was in an ambulance on his way to the hospital, and Gabe was not far behind. The watch later updated Gabe and his brother when Bob arrived at a nearby medical center.
“It was amazing,” Gabe told the Seattle Times. “I’m incredibly thankful.”
Bob, who, despite being a little sore, is already back on his bike, expressed his gratefulness for his Apple Watch and his helmet, which he has had to replace.
“A hit that hard could have killed me if I weren’t wearing it,” Bob said.
Gabe shared images of his father and his father’s Apple Watch on Facebook and urged others with an Apple Watch Series 4 or later to turn the feature on.
“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,” he wrote.
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