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4-year-old saves mother's life by asking Apple's Siri to call emergency services

A four-year-old boy in the United Kingdom saved his mother's life after she collapsed, the Metropolitan Police has confirmed, by unlocking his mother's iPhone and asking Siri to contact the emergency services.

Released on Thursday, the call recording for the incident on March 7 consists of a police call hander speaking to Roman, a young boy who called after his mother lost consciousness. Believing his mother to have died, explaining to the handler that she had "(closed) her eyes and she's not breathing," Roman then recited his address so that emergency services could arrive.

While children in the United Kingdom are told to call 999, the local emergency services number, from a very young age, the Metropolitan Police note that Roman used a different method to get assistance. He unlocked his mother's iPhone using Touch ID, pressing his mother's thumb onto the sensor, then asked Siri for help, resulting in the emergency call.

Due to Roman's swift actions, officers arrived at the address and forced entry into the house, to find Roman and his brothers near their unconscious mother. Paramedics took the woman to hospital after helping her regain consciousness.

"Hearing this call brings home the importance of teaching your young child their home address and how to call police or emergency services in an emergency situation," said Chief Superintendent Ade Adelekan of the Met's Command and Control Unit, which handles emergency calls. The chief superintendent implores parents to teach young children what to do in an emergency, as the incident demonstrates "it could really be the difference between life and death."

"It's an amazing story and thanks to his quick thinking and by asking 'Siri' for help, this little boy saved his mum's life and it means she is still here and can be extremely proud of him and his brothers."

For locked iPhones, it is possible to contact the emergency services without unlocking it first, by swiping right on the lock screen and tapping "Emergency" to unlock the dial pad. Siri is also able to interpret statements such as "Call the fire department" or "Dial 911" to make the same call, but offers a five-second countdown to cancel the call if it has been placed by mistake.

The ability to make such calls through Siri has sometimes caused issues with emergency services. Occasional social media pranks urge iPhone users to say specific numbers or phrases to Siri, which can be interpreted as requests to make emergency calls, sometimes flooding regional emergency contact centers.

It is also possible to contact emergency services via an Apple Watch. Holding the side button can bring up the Emergency SOS slider, which can be used to make the call, as well as to regularly send SOS contacts a text message with the wearer's current location.