“Siri’ helps connect motorist to emergency services following crash

Described as a virtual assistant, ‘Siri’ is a technology which is part of Apple Inc.’s iOS, where users can actually voice queries and get answers to just about any question or request.

Earlier this month, the technology was used by a man after he rolled his vehicle and was mechanically entrapped during an off-road excursion onto the dry lake bed off Homestead Road, according to Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Services Chief Scott Lewis.

Due to the the remote location, the unidentified man had no cellphone service.

“On Dec. 7, at approximately 8:35 p.m., crews were notified of a one-vehicle rollover accident,” Lewis said. “Crews responded to that area, along with sheriff’s deputies with four-wheel-drive vehicles. At about 5.1 miles in, they found the vehicle overturned with the occupant trapped with his dog.”

Lewis went on to say that fire crews extricated the man, who was transported by a four-wheel-drive vehicle back to the pavement where a landing zone was established for Mercy Air crews, who flew the man to UMC Trauma in Las Vegas.

“There was no illumination, so there was no way we could identify where he was,” Lewis noted. “He also had no cell phone service, so it was our understanding that he said “Siri, call 911,” and it appeared that it worked.

“That’s when he was able to report the accident, but it is unknown how long he was unconscious. The thought is that he was unconscious for a while and what we were told, he may have been out there for several hours.”

As an authorized AT&T authorized dealer in Pahrump, Steven Martin spoke about Siri, while noting he’s never heard of the Siri feature actually helping to save a person’s life.

“Siri is a very helpful feature for people who are not able to see very well because they can use their voice and do things on their phone, such as make calls and look up information,” Martin said. “Siri can be activated in locations where there is no cell phone service. People who have iPhones have the option to have Siri on or off.

“It allows them to navigate their phone a little easier because they don’t have to necessarily need to type everything in. It just makes everything a lot more streamlined. Siri can answer just about any question for people who want to search for information.”

Lewis, meanwhile, noted that Siri certainly played a crucial role in locating the man.

“Clearly, if he had not been discovered, he would have been out there for a prolonged amount of time, which really diminishes his chance of survival,” Lewis said. “He was entrapped inside the vehicle, thus there was no way he was going to be able to get out, without us extricating him.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com, on Twitter: @pvtimes

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