Saturday night my wife and I were hanging out at a relative's house when our phones started buzzing simultaneously.

It was an emergency text saying this: "Crash Detected SOS. I called emergency services from this approximate location after iPhone detected a crash. You are receiving this message because I have listed you as an emergency contact."

The text came with a pin of the location and was from my oldest son's iPhone, putting him near Sand Hollow Reservoir.

As any parent knows, this is the kind of text you never want to receive, and my wife and I started desperately making phone calls.

We were 300 miles away and felt incredibly helpless. The text came at 9:36 p.m. and calls to his friends netted no more information.

A second identical alert came about 25 minutes later and a few minutes after that, it showed on locator that he was home, so we relaxed a little, but still hadn't heard anything.

About an hour after that, he texted back and said he had left his phone on the roof of his car and the crash detector was alerted when it fell off while he was driving home from the lake.

Whew! Relief washed over us as we knew he was safe, but it did get me to thinking about the whole process.

He was safe, his phone was trashed and police were dispatched to the scene.

As much relief as I felt, I still couldn't help but wonder if this happens all the time. And is it a huge waste of police or emergency resources?

"Actually, it happens a lot," St. George Police's Tiffany Mitchell said. "It's almost like a 9-1-1 hang-up. We still have to dispatch an officer and make sure everyone is OK."


So every time an iPhone has a violent interaction (off roof of car, dropped from a medium height, accidently run over, etc.), police are dispatched to the scene?

"You could look at it as a waste of police time and resources if you want," Mitchell said. "But on the flip side, if someone is in an accident and is injured or unable to call, this is a good way for police to be alerted.

"If it saves just one life, it's worth it."

.She makes a good point. My son was OK, but what if he wasn't?

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