Searching Made Easy

TERRE HAUTE, IN - It's technology that's been around for the last century and the tools to use it have been around for the past 20 years, but this is a new way for local first responders to search for people who have wandered off.

Today's training took place at the Terre Haute Police station where city police, fire and county first responders had a lesson in project lifesaver.

This is a device that tracks a bracelet worn by someone who tends to wander off, maybe they have Alzheimer's or Autism.

"Listen to the chirps, the machine is telling you what to do," Terre Haute Fire Chief Jeff Fisher said.

This device looks like something you'd see out of a science fiction movie, but it essentially takes the searching out of locating a missing person.

"I think they were kind of skeptical in the classroom, but when I brought them out here and actually made them use the equipment and it brings them right to it, I think they were pleasantly surprised," Tim Caldwell, Project Lifesaver coordinator in Ohio said.

Caldwell journeyed to Terre Haute to teach Friday's lesson in lifesaving.

That's after city police asked to test out the equipment.

"I learned that we need this, this is a tool that will help save lives in the future, I'm surprised we haven't done it by now," Chief Fisher said.

It's a tracking device.

"It services Alzheimer's, Dementia, Autistic, Down Syndrome. Anybody that has a disease or condition that tends to make them get lost or wander," Caldwell said.

Residents in the area can sign up to wear a bracelet that this tool can quickly help find.

 "The first one, I think ok, this is going to take a long time to find this device, but we actually found it in five minutes," Chief Fisher said.

Fisher was a part of Fridays' training. He says searching for missing people happens much more often that you would think. This device will drastically cut the length of searches.

"We need this," Fisher said.

"Radio telemetry is old technology it's been around since 1910, 1920. But it's more dependable than GPS, more dependable than cell phone and it's one of those things, if it ain't broke, don't fix it," Caldwell said.

Soon residents in the area who have a medical condition can sign up for a bracelet to wear for this program. Terre Haute Police, fire and the Vigo County Sheriff's Department all purchased this device.


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