Siri Can Call Emergency Services For You with iPhone if Need Be

Jul 17, 2015 - 16 Comments

Siri can call Emergency Services with an iPhone

Obviously nobody wants to be in an emergency situation, but if the need ever arises, Siri can come to your aid with a quick ability to dial the local emergency service line, and it works practically wherever you are in the world with the iPhone so long as it has a cellular connection.

There’s not much to this trick, it’s just knowing one of the proper phrases to say to initiate the emergency call. And yes, it works with the hands-free ‘Hey Siri’ command, so this could even work if you weren’t able to reach the iPhone but it was plugged in with that hands-free feature enabled.

Important: Siri dials Emergency Services with these iPhone commands, do not test needlessly!

This is really important, but don’t just test this aimlessly because it does actually call the local emergency service line, yes it works, but unless you’re having an actual emergency, the last thing you want is to tie up their lines with a pointless phone call. While you will have a brief countdown to cancel the call before it dials the emergency hotline, if you’re not cautious then Siri will actually call and connect to the emergency line in your region. This is for genuine emergencies only, do not abuse it!

The following phrases work to initiate an Emergency Call with Siri from an iPhone, you don’t even need to specify the number if you’re in a region where you aren’t sure what the emergency service line is, Siri and the iPhone is smart enough to figure it out.

Siri Emergency Service Dialing Commands

Summon Siri, or use Hey Siri, and issue the following commands to call an emergency line – DO NOT CALL WITHOUT A REAL EMERGENCY:

  • “Call emergency services”
  • “Dial 911”
  • “Phone 911” (9-1-1 is the USA emergency line, using this phrase outside of the USA will also dial the appropriate local emergency line)
  • “Phone 100” (1-0-0 is the emergency line in India, but it will dial the appropriate line elsewhere as well)
  • “Dial 100”
  • “Dial 110”
  • “Phone 110” (1-1-0 is the emergency line in China, but it will dial the appropriate line where ever you are)

Siri will respond with “Calling Emergency Services in five seconds…” and a big font saying “Emergency Call” with a countdown directly underneath it saying “In 5 seconds, In 4 seconds, In 3 seconds…” etc. You’ll also find two buttons at the bottom, the “Cancel” button to stop the call before it’s connected – what you’ll want to press immediately if you test this out – and then there is the second button, “Call”, which will immediately connect the iPhone to the emergency service dispatch line.

As mentioned before, this will even work across the room with a “Hey Siri, call emergency services” if the iPhone is plugged in and Hey Siri is enabled. The countdown will happen and dial the appropriate number.

In the USA, this is the familiar 9-1-1 call to a dispatch line of first responders, usually firemen or the police, but it works abroad in other nations to connect to their emergency lines as well.

Call Emergency Services with Siri an iPhone if need be

As we’ve mentioned before, and we’ll reiterate yet again, do NOT try this or aimlessly call this number just for testing purposes. Many emergency dispatch lines will send a first responder to the location of a call (typically the local police arrive first, they pinpoint the location of the call with cellular triangulation which is generally quite accurate) if there is a questionable call that goes to the center, with the idea of being “better safe than sorry”, so it is absolutely critical that you do not toy around with this feature. Only use this if you have a genuine emergency, like when you or something else actually needs firefighters, police, or paramedics.

Interestingly enough, according to TheDailyDot you could initiate this call process through an indirect question of “Siri charge my phone to 100%”, which would dial ‘100’, and thus an emergency service line (yes, even in the USA). Some users report that still works, but in my testing it would not, while all of the above mentioned commands do work to dial the appropriate number.

Hopefully you’ll never need to use this feature, but it’s certainly good to know it’s there if the need ever does arise!

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, Tips & Tricks

16 Comments

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  1. Bernard says:

    Could be a useful feature if there wasn’t the necessity of being connected to power. Say, in a car accident where where the phone is not “plugged in” and cannot be reached … to be able to voice command Siri would be great … also could be handy in a kidnap/hostage situation. Otherwise, as is it’s no great deal.

    • Itchen Stein says:

      Yes agreed, the Apple Watch can make a call by raising the Watch and saying “Hey Siri” without having to be connected to power, however, so this works on Apple Watch as well.

      Maybe Apple will allow us to use Hey Siri without a power connection on iPhone next?

      • B. Wulfe says:

        Highly unlikely with current battery technology (and Apple’s determination to make every single device “incredibly thin”.) This would require the microphone to be active and listening at all times; which would in turn drain the battery at an acceleratd rate. If you really want this feature, you can obtain it now, by simply purchasing a decent sized battery case. Set the case power on; so that it is constantly recharging the phone. As long as the battery case is supplying power, hey Siri will function the same as if it were connected to any other power source.

        • Charlie Dean says:

          Wow! This is old as heck, but looks like you’re wrong, B. Wulfe. They’ve got a Hey Siri chip in the phone now! Did you remember this comment when they released the details about the iPhone 6s, or did you forget you ever had this viewpoint?

          It’s easy to laugh looking back, but to be fair, nobody knows the future. July 18th? Leaks hadn’t even started yet. I don’t think any less of you, B. Wulfe. Don’t worry.

          Lots of love.

  2. Pol Wirtz says:

    i just tried in Europe. It says : Calling Emergency Services ok. But does it call 012 ??
    You only mention USA and India :-( ??
    Thanks for clarification!

    • Itchen Stein says:

      Yes Pol, it does work where ever you are that has an emergency line, but you can use your local language, native tongue, etc, to be certain.

      The first line in the article says:

      “and it works practically wherever you are in the world with the iPhone so long as it has a cellular connection”

      Indeed, it will dial the local number where ever you are, or if you know the local emergency line, simply tell Siri to dial that number, or call that number, say “Call 123” or what have you, it shall work with Siri and the iPhone.

      So what do you think? Of course it works in Europe! But it will not work on the iPad unless it has the Cellular Calling feature enabled with a nearby iPhone, so do not rely on the iPad, use this for iPhone only!

  3. Pamela says:

    After getting Siri’s attention, will it work to use the most familiar phrase “call 9-1-1”?

    • Itchen Stein says:

      Yes Pamela, you can say “dial number” or “call number”

      It works the same, Siri will dial the number that you specify.

  4. what words to use in France or Switzerland please ?

    • Itchen Stein says:

      “Dial emergency services”

      Whatever that is in your local language perhaps?

      or “dial ####” what local French or Swiss emergency line is?

      Yes, yes indeed it works!

  5. Gino Crocetti says:

    Hi:

    I just tried this, but Siri said she could not dial until I unlocked the phone, which is a hands on process. Does this mean that in order to have access to this feature, I have to leave the phone on all night??

  6. Dave says:

    well… it might be an advertised feature, but it didn’t work when I used it about a month ago.

    I activated Siri by the home button, and instructed her “Dial 9 1 1” I got 3 rejections, and finally gave up and pulled up the manual dialer. I was in the car, with a solid LTE signal, No radio on or other sound interference.

    Don’t bet your life of anyone else’s life on siri calling 911 for you.

  7. Jim Ferr says:

    FYI, it is no longer correct to call them “firemen” in this day and age. They are now designated as “fire fighters” as some of them could be female.

  8. Annonimo says:

    What if you dial 108 what is it

  9. Edward McLaughlin says:

    I recommend when calling emergency services that the phone automatically actuate the camera And record all sounds.

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