iPhone’s ‘Hey Siri’ Feature Helped to Save This Iowa Man from an Icy River

gael salcedo Credit: KIMT
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The Apple Watch isn’t the only device that can help save somebody’s life. A recent story demonstrated that Siri on an iPhone may be just as handy in an emergency.

Gael Salcedo, 18, was on the way to class at North Iowa Area Community College when his Jeep hit a patch of ice and plunged into the frigid Winnebago River, local news outlet KIMT reported.

“I turned to the right and from there, everything just went blurry,” Salcedo said. “I was just thinking in my head ‘I think I’m going to die.’”

The 18-year-old quickly rolled down his window when he realized his car was in the river. He tried to look for his phone, but realized that he couldn’t find it.

“I lost my phone and since I couldn’t find it, I was like ‘Hey Siri, call 911.’ And once Siri called, that’s when I found my phone finally,” he said.

Siri was apparently able to get in contact with emergency services successfully and share Salcedo’s location with first responders.

After the call, Mason City firefighters quickly arrived at the scene and approached the sinking Jeep. They helped him out of the vehicle and told him that the only way to safety was to walk out of the freezing river.

“My hands were freezing. I couldn’t feel my legs anymore, so I was struggling a lot and the water was just so strong, so I kept tripping and I had the guy help me up a bunch of times and I used all my strength to get out of the water,” he said.

First responders helped Salcedo into the ambulance and he was taken to a local hospital. After being treated for shock, Salcedo was released only three hours later.

Emergency SOS

Siri on iPhone has the ability to contact emergency service via Hey Siri voice commands. That’s a potentially life-saving feature and users should be familiar with it.

But the iPhone isn’t the only device that has this capability. Apple Watches also feature Hey Siri support — and cellular-enabled ones can contact first responders without an iPhone nearby.

In addition to Siri, it’s also recommended that you head to Settings > Emergency SOS and familiarize yourself with that feature, which lets users easily dial 911 with certain button presses.

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