Stearns County Sheriff's Office issues PSA to check smart watch settings before sledding

The Stearns County Sheriff's Office asked the public to check settings on Apple Watches or similar devices to avoid inadvertently placing emergency calls while people participate in various winter recreational activities that involve sudden stops and quick turns.

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the Apple Watch during an Apple event in San Francisco, California. The smart devices may inadvertently call emergency settings during stop--start winter activities, so the Stearns Count Sheriff's Office is advising the public to double-check the settings.
Reuters / Robert Galbraith
We are part of The Trust Project.

WILLMAR — Smart watches might be getting ahead of themselves this winter season, according the the Stearns County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff’s office said it recently received multiple notifications of a crash or fall occurring, but when deputies responded to these reports they were unable to find a crash or a person needing help.

Kaye Heins, 66, of Sartell, was injured Saturday in snowmobile crash in Brockway Township near St. Stephen. She was transported to CentraCare — St. Cloud Hospital for treatment.
Community and high school art events will be printed each Wednesday in this calendar up to two weeks in advance. The deadline is noon Friday. Items may be emailed to with “arts calendar item” in the subject line.
BOLD Superintendent Jim Menton reports there were no injuries when an electrical fire broke out at the Olivia school on Wednesday morning, and the evacuation went well. He is hopeful that classes can be resumed on schedule Thursday.
The weekly Around Our Region calendar of events is published Wednesdays. Submissions may be emailed to with “Around our Region” in the subject line at least a week in advance.

According to a news release from the sheriff’s office Friday, these reports are believed to be coming from various Apple products: “There is likely a setting on Apple Watches sending this alert when the party wearing it is participating in winter recreational activities such as snowmobiling, sledding, or tubing.”

The release states that sudden stops, quick turns, and traveling over rough terrain might result in an Apple watch or similar product inadvertently placing an emergency call.

The sheriff’s office reminded owners of such products to check their device’s settings before participating in such winter recreational activities.

Dale Morin is a reporter with the West Central Tribune. He covers public safety and breaking news beats.

Dale can be reached at or by phone 320-214-4368.
What To Read Next
BOLD students are being moved to Cross of Calvary Church in Olivia and buses were to begin transporting them home this morning after a water leak in the pool area set off fire alarms.
"Wait Until Dark," a Barn Theatre production, will have four more shows at 7 p.m. Feb. 9-11 and 2 p.m. Feb. 12.
The Chippewa County Board will issue requests for proposals asking for construction or engineering firms to analyze how a former bank building in downtown Montevideo could be repurposed for county use.
Deleski's work is on display at the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council gallery in Marshall through Feb. 24.