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Tweens in Peril Update Facebook Status Instead of Dialing 911

If you were trapped or lost in a storm drain, but still had cell phone reception, how would you reach out for help? Perhaps call 911, or its equivalent? We're sure you wouldn't rely on updating your Facebook status.

But that's exactly what a pair of girls in Adelaide, Australia did when they wandered into just such a drain Sunday. The 10- and 12-year-old girls used their cell phones to update their statuses on the social networking site in order to let friends know they were lost under the streets of their suburban neighborhood. The Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) rescued the girls, but only after their friends had called 000, the Australian equivalent of 911.

The MFS was concerned about the girls' communicating via Facebook rather than calling emergency responders directly, but it is quite possible the girls felt as if they were in no immediate danger. Glenn Benham, one of the involved firefighters, told the Daily Mail, "We could have come to their rescue much faster than relying on someone else being online, then replying to them, then calling us. It is a worrying development." He continued, "Young people should realize it's better to contact us directly. Luckily they are safe and well. It's awful to think what could have happened because of the delay."

On first thought, for someone in a potentially perilous situation, local authorities seem like the first group to call. But, as no cell phone's battery life is as long as we'd like, a Facebook update or tweet would would better conserve your phone's precious energy. As one Atlanta, Georgia city councilman showed, sometimes the Internet is faster than a phone. Similarly, Web-based updates are quick and quiet, perfect for a potentially violent situation like a home invasion. Expect to see more 911-esque alert messages popping up on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks in the future. [From: ABCNews and Daily Mail via Mashable],feedConfig,entry&id=649965&pid=649964&uts=1252427250
Gadgets That Saved Lives
Getty Images

Gadgets That Saved Lives

    Call it a stroke of luck, the hands of fate, or a touch from God. No matter what you call it, there's no denying gadgets have helped saved some lives. So keep that gadget close by, folks. You never know when your time is up.

    1) An elderly Memphis man avoided being crushed by a tree when he was forced to watch television in the kitchen because his bedroom TV lacked a digital converter box. At least one person is happy with the digital switch.

    2) While hiding under a tree during a storm in England, 14-year-old Sophie Frost was struck by lightning. The bolt shot across her body instead of through it, thanks to the iPod headphones hanging from her neck. She suffered only some burns and a fright.

    3) When Hans Jorgen Olsen and his sister ran across a moose in Norway, the 12-year-old didn't panic. Instead, he taunted the moose so his sister could escape, which is a move he learned while playing 'World of Warcraft.'

    4) While mowing his lawn, Ronald Richard was hit in the chest by a stray .45 caliber bullet. The bullet was stopped by the Motorola RAZR clipped onto his chest, which not only saved his life but gave him one hell of a bar story.

    5) After becoming lost while snowboarding, Sebastian Gomez was alone, except for his iPod. When Gomez heard a helicopter buzzing overhead,
    he switched it on and waved the glowing screen in the air. Wearing night vision goggles, rescuers spotted the teenager and brought him to safety.

    6) A couple of French tourists got lost on a ski trip in Switzerland. After contacting rescuers via cell phone, the batteries soon died.
    Fortunately, the pair had packed their iPods before leaving home. Rescuers flying overhead spotted the lighted screen and saved both folks.

    7) We've determined that a cell phone can stop a bullet, but what about an iPod? When Kevin Garrad of the 3rd Infantry Division was
    struck by a bullet in Iraq, his iPod took the blow -- stopping the bullet from piercing his body armor. So, yes.

    8) After blacking out in a swimming pool, a 10-year-old Welsh girl was rescued by lifeguards who saw the potentially fatal events unfolding on a set of underwater cameras that link to a computer system. 10 seconds later, the girl was rescued.

    9) When chef Mark Williams was bitten on the hand by a spider while cleaning his freezer, he turned to his cell phone to help doctors identify the culprit . Williams pinged a picture to Bristol Zoo employees, who identified the arachnid, and doctors treated the bite.

Tags: 911, emergency, facebook, kids, smartphone, teens, top, weird



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