Montgomery, Ala. (December 15, 2017) — Nothing can be more terrifying for a caregiver or loved one than the moment they realize an elderly person has wandered away and they have no idea where to look next. Between fighting crime, the aviation unit of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency works to bring the lost back home faster. Through its Project Lifesaver program, the unit can be anywhere in the state within one hour and, by tracking radio signals, they can usually recover a lost person within 10 to 15 minutes.
“We usually get calls for older people with dementia or kid with autism who have wandered off,” said Kent Smith, tactical pilot officer.
A generous gift from a Capitol Hill Healthcare will help them reunite even more families. The Montgomery skilled nursing home gave the unit $1,000 for Project Lifesaver. This program uses VHF transmission radio signal tracking to help recover adults and kids with cognitive disabilities who wander or get lost.
“We’re here to serve our older population, within and outside our walls,” said Capitol Hill administrator, Sharon Baker. “The longer a sick or impaired senior is away, the more danger they could be in. We are proud to help get to safety faster.”
For about $300, a special tracking bracelet that looks similar to a watch can be purchased for a child or adult. It emits a unique radio signal every second and can be tracked by a receiver antennae from miles away by plane or helicopter. Each signal is different and rescuers on the ground or in the air can hone in on that particular signal even before the search even begins.
Baker originally donated $500 on behalf of Capitol Hill, but she felt so strongly about the program that she personally matched the donation to provide even more funds.
“It is a very important program that could help save some person’s life,” Baker said. “We’re blessed to be able to do our part in helping bring people home.”