apple park spaceship campus

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Here are the 911 calls from employees who walked into glass walls at Apple Park

The three incidents happened within days of each other.


Phillip Tracy


Posted on Mar 5, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 10:48 pm CDT

Last month, we learned Apple employees need to navigate a dangerous obstacle every time they enter the company’s new “spaceship” campus. Like a bird to freshly cleaned windows, the folks who design your iPhone have been walking into the 45-foot glass walls that surround the newly opened building.

The company was reportedly warned this would happen. Cupertino building officials were worried employees wouldn’t be able to distinguish glass walls from automatic sliding doors. Apple, more concerned with the aesthetic of its $5 billion engineering marvel, didn’t budge. Now it’s paying the price.

911 transcripts obtained via public records requests by the San Francisco Chronicle prove how hazardous Apple Park really is. The calls all came within a few days of each other and feature male employees who slammed their heads into the side of the building.

The first call comes from an Apple security employee attending to a man who walked into the glass wall and cut his head.

Call 1 on Jan. 2, 2018:

Dispatcher: Medical emergency, 185, what are you reporting?

Caller: This is Apple security reporting a medical injury.

Dispatcher: OK, what is the address of the emergency?

Caller: Just a moment.

Person in the background, near the caller: If you could let them know Apple Park Way.

Caller: Apple Park Way.

Dispatcher: What is the address?

Caller: Apple Park Way. 1 Apple Park Way.

Dispatcher: Can you repeat to make sure I have it correct?

Caller: 1 Apple Park Way.

Dispatcher: Where specifically should they go?

Caller: Transit center, 5A.

Dispatcher: Transit center — is that in any specific area at Apple?

Caller: It’s off of Tantau Avenue.

Caller: Is that right at 1 Apple Park Way though?

Caller: It’s going to be Gate 5A off of Tantau Avenue.

Dispatcher: So the address you gave me at 1 Apple Park Way is that exactly where we’re going?

Caller: Yes.

Dispatcher: …so tell me exactly what happened.

Caller: We had an individual who ran into a glass wall pane and they hit their head. They have a small cut on their head and they are bleeding, slightly disoriented. We have on site security with them right now.

Dispatcher: Are you with the patient now?

Caller: No, I am not with the patient. We are trying to have a security unit call in right now so I connect you over.

Dispatcher: How old is the patient?

Caller: Late 20s.

Dispatcher: Is the patient male or female?

Caller: Male.

Dispatcher: Is he awake?

Caller: He is conscious.

Dispatcher: Is he breathing?

Caller: That we do not know. Yes, yes, he’s conscious and breathing.

Dispatcher: Let me go ahead here and update the paramedics. When did this happen?

Caller: It happened around five minutes ago. Around 12:05.

Dispatcher: Is there any serious bleeding?

Caller: Yes, from the head.

Dispatcher: Is he completely alert?

Caller: Yes.

Dispatcher: All right, one moment. Let me update the paramedics and I’ll have some more instructions for you.

OK, I’m sending the paramedics to help you now just stay on the line and I’ll tell you what exactly to do next. You can just refer this to your security. Do not move him unless he is in danger and do not splint any injuries. From now on, do not let him have anything to eat or drink, it might make him sick or cause further problems. And don’t move him unless it’s absolutely necessary. Tell him to be still and wait for help to arrive.

I’m going to give you the control bleeding instructions so they can help that … so listen carefully and let’s make sure we do it right. Get clean dry cloth or towel and place it right on the wound and tell him to press down firmly and do not lift it up to look.

Caller: Press on the wound and do not look up.

Dispatcher: Correct, correct. I want someone to watch him very closely. If he becomes less awake and vomits, quickly turn him on his side. Before the responders arrive — I’m sure you have already done this — have someone flag down and help them guide the paramedics in. If he gets worse in any way, call us back immediately for further instructions.

Caller: Will do.

Dispatcher: OK, thank you.

Caller: Thank you, have a nice day.

Dispatcher: You too. Bye.

In the second call, a call center employee relays messages from on-site security, telling a 911 dispatcher that an employee has a “small cut” near his eyebrow.

Call 2 on Jan. 2, 2018

Dispatcher: Sheriff emergency 336. What’s the address of the emergency?

Caller: It’s going to be 1 Apple Park, Cupertino. It’s going to be a medical emergency.

Dispatcher: It’s give me one moment … Can you verify the address of the emergency please?

Caller: It’s going to be 1 Apple Park Way, Cupertino.

Dispatcher: OK and is that a business? What building is it in?

Caller: Yes, it’s going to be Apple campus.

Dispatcher: What building is it in?

Caller: It’s going to be in the main building, section (is) the transit center, just outside of the main campus.

Dispatcher: Tell me exactly what happened.

Caller: OK. So we had an employee, he was on campus and he walked into a glass window, hitting his head, has a little bit of a cut on the eyebrow.

Dispatcher: OK, are you with the patient now?

Caller: Uh, no. I’m calling from our call center. We have security on site with the patient.

Dispatcher: OK, how old is the patient?

Caller: Um, unknown.

Dispatcher: OK, is the patient male or female?

Caller: It’s going to be a male, adult.

Dispatcher: Is he awake?

Caller: Yes.

Dispatcher: Is he breathing?

Caller: Yes.

Dispatcher: Give me one moment.

Caller: Looks like he is going to be a middle-aged male.

Dispatcher: OK, and where is he bleeding from?

Caller: A cut above the eyebrow.

Dispatcher: Anywhere else?

Caller: No.

Dispatcher: Is he completely alert?

Caller: Unknown at this time. We’re still waiting for an update.

Dispatcher: OK. Is he breathing normally?

Caller: Yes, to my knowledge, yeah.

Dispatcher: Is the blood spurting or pouring out?

Caller: Um, I think it’s just leaking … a small cut.

Dispatcher: Does he have a bleeding disorder or is on blood thinners?

Caller: Not to our knowledge.

Dispatcher: Give me one moment to update them.

Person near caller, in the background: There’s a cut on the eyebrow. According to our, let’s call it, first aid certified personnel it looks like it’s going to (require) stitches.

Dispatcher: Stay on the line, I”ll tell you what to do next. For now, assure him that help is on the way. Don’t let him have anything to eat or drink. Might make him sick or cause further problems. Do you have a gate number?

Caller: It’s going to be Gate 5 on the Tantau side. Gate 5 A, 5 Adam.

Dispatcher: Do not move him unless absolutely necessary. Let him be still and let him wait for help to arrive. I’ll update them on the location. OK, thank you sir.

Caller: Thank you very much, have a good one.

In the third call, we hear directly from an employee who slammed into a glass door. He seems more embarrassed by the incident than worried about his health.

Call 3 on Jan. 4, 2018:

Dispatcher: Emergency services 305. What’s the address of the emergency?

Caller: Hi, 1 Apple Park Way.

Dispatcher: I’m sorry you are breaking. What the address?

Caller: 1 Apple Park Way.

Dispatcher: OK. Is this a building or room number?

Caller: It’s going to be in section 9, fourth floor. You are going to go in through the Transit Center, which is Gate 5A, A as in Adam. I have Jessica on the line who is with the patient who hit his head on the glass.

Dispatcher: OK. Hello? Tell me exactly what happened.

Caller 2: Let me have the gentleman it happened to speak for himself.

Dispatcher: That’s OK. Ma’am? Hello? Hi, sir?

Patient: Hi, yes.

Dispatcher: Tell me exactly what happened.

Patient: Um, I walked into a glass door on the first floor of Apple Park when I was trying to go outside, which was very silly.

Dispatcher: You keep breaking up. You walked through a glass door?

Patient: I didn’t walk through a glass door. I walked into a glass door.

Dispatcher: OK, one second. Did you injure your head?

Patient: I hit my head.

Dispatcher: How old are you?

Patient: 23.

Dispatcher: Hold on one second, OK. When did this happen?

Patient: About a half an hour ago.

Dispatcher: Is there any serious bleeding?

Patient: No.

Dispatcher: Just one moment. Just one second while I update the paramedics, just stay on the line. I’m sending the paramedics to help you now. I’ll tell you exactly what to do next.

Do not move unless you are in danger and do not splint any injuries, OK? Help is on the way. From now don’t have anything to eat or drink, it might make you sick or cause further problems. And don’t move around unless it is absolutely necessary. Just be still and wait for help to arrive, OK?

I’m going to give you some instructions before I let you go. Before the responders arrive, please put away any pets, gather your medication and if anything changes, call us back immediately for further instructions, OK?

Patient: OK.

Dispatcher: I’ll stay with you on the line as long as I can and if anything changes, let me know. Tell me when the paramedics arrive.

Caller 2: We’re in a locked area of the building. Do I need to meet them to escort them to this area?

Caller 1: This is Lauren, from Apple security. We have some officers on site and who will go ahead and let the EMS through. For the dispatcher, it’s through Gate 5A, as in Adam near the transit center on Tantau where you will be entering.

Dispatcher: That’s what I have … I’ll go ahead and disconnect with you … Thank you.

These are the only known 911 calls, but there were certainly more people who also had a difficult time getting into work. We know from Bloomberg’s initial report that “several” distracted employees ran into the wall and Twitter reports suggest at least seven employees injured themselves in the days after Apple Park opened. It’s likely others have also smacked into the glass but didn’t require medical attention.

It’s not clear if Apple has plans to address the issue and allow for its inch-perfect creation to be altered so workers can stop worrying when they walk into the office. Some savvy employees tried using colorful Post-it notes to label windows from doors, but were told to take them down “because they detracted from the building’s design.”

For the sake of its employees, let’s hope Apple learns from some of its successful products and finds the right balance between form and function.

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*First Published: Mar 5, 2018, 9:46 am CST