Cell phone advertisements focus on signal strength and speed, cool apps and features, like cameras and music players but cell phones aren’t just a good distraction while waiting in a doctor’s office or in the DMV, cellphones have also helped saved lives!
Below are real accounts of when cell phones have helped save people’s lives :
- Harlem, N.Y. – October 8, 2010- A New York man was saved by his cell phone after his enraged building superintendent opened fire on him and the bullet lodged in the phone that was tucked into his pocket. Police raced to the New York City apartment and discovered the tenant with nothing more than a few minor injuries, all because the phone absorbed the impact of the gunshot.  (For full story, refer to source at the end of article)
- Rwanda- July 28, 2010- Rwanda is ranked among the world’s worst for maternal mortality. In an effort to help save both the mother and child’s lives, the Rwandan government, along with UN, has passed out hundreds of cell phones to expectant mothers. After unexpectedly going in to labor, 23 year-old, Valentine Unwingabite and her village health worker, Germaine Uwera reacted by texting for help from the government given cell phone. An ambulance reached Unwingabite’s village within 10 minutes after receiving the urgent text. Because of unpaved roads, few people having cars and more than 95 percent of Rwandans not being able to access electricity, it is difficult for ambulances to get to heavily populated, Rwandan rural areas. Before the cell phones, it took at least an hour to get help. Health workers had to carry patients in a makeshift stretcher for nearly an hour to reach the nearest health facility.
- Port-au-Prince, Haiti- January 25, 2010- After the earthquake that devastated Haiti, landline phones were down and electricity was sparse. Despite the wreckage, cell towers were quickly erected giving trapped and injured Haitians a lifeline. For instance, one man, who was trapped for five days in a collapsed building in downtown Port-au-Prince, was able to send a text message to the Emergency Information Services. Working through the night, a search-and-rescue team was dispatched and was able to find and rescue the man through the cell phone’s GPS coordinates.
- St. Louis, Missouri- August 3, 2010- A woman was returning home from work when she was approached by two men in her apartment’s parking lot. One of the men then forced her into the back of her car and drove away. After fighting with one of her assailants, the woman was put into the trunk of her car. The car was stopped a final time and the woman was removed from the trunk. She was stabbed and choked but managed to call 911 from her cell phone. Not knowing where she was, the 911 dispatcher was able to locate her through her phone’s GPS. She was found and saved while her assailants were apprehended.
- ORLANDO- June, 2006- Belle the beagle saved her owner’s, Kevin Weaver, life when the diabetic collapsed and began having seizures. Belle, a trained service dog, took Weaver’s phone and bit 9-1-1 to call emergency services. Belle was the first canine recipient to win the VITA Wireless Samaritan Award, given to someone who used a cell phone to save a life, prevent a crime or help in an emergency.
According to CTIA’s Wireless Foundation, more than 291,000 cell phone calls are made to 911 daily.