Bringing Loved Ones Home

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An international search and rescue program that’s made its way across the United States, has landed in Vincennes. The local fire department has new technology, allowing first responders to quickly find those who may wander off.

If a loved one goes missing it can be a stressful situation, for both local search and rescue, and their caregivers. Now, the Vincennes Fire Department is equipped to rescue those at risk, even faster. Project Lifesaver is a program to help ease the search, by supplying tools and training to the department.

“It was brought to us by a member of the community, her daughter has wandered off several times and we did a little research and found some organizations here in town and found out there was actually a need for this. It happens more than we realize,” says Firefighter with Vincennes Fire Department, Zach Westfall.  

The device is designed to find any person, diagnosed with a disorder such as Autism or Alzheimer’s, who may wander off. Those enrolled would wear this wrist watch like device that constantly gives out a silent radio signal. Firefighters can track it.

“This is what we actually use to find the clients, it picks up the radio signal,” states Westfall. No matter where the person has wandered, a city neighborhood or dense countryside, they can be located in about 30 minutes.
“It’s just another tool we can have in our tool box that we can help our citizens within our area, and our surrounding area to be the best we can be,” says Vincennes Fire Chief Sonny Pinkstaff.

“We are constantly out and about they get to know us and we can address other issues because we are doing home visits for these clients check their smoke detectors for them while we are there. Make sure they are all safe there,” says Westfall.

Folks with low incomes, who apply for the program, are 100 percent covered by the fire department. The Project Lifesaver device would be supplied to them, free of charge. Officials at the department saw the increase need, and answered the call. “It’s just something I felt we had to do. My motto has always been if you save one life it’s well worth it,” concludes Pinkstaff.

There are more than three thousand of these devices currently in use around the country. If you live in Vincennes here’s how to enroll in Project Lifesaver.

1) Pick up the application at 928 Vigo Street Vincennes, IN 47591
2) Call (812) 882-2600 to drop off the form once you have filled it out.
3) Or send email to requesting application.
    Please include phone number and address in the email. 

Return the application to:
Vincennes Fire Department
928 Vigo Street Vincennes, IN 47591

Once the fire department approves the application, a representative will contact you for a face to face meeting. You can also donate to the Project Lifesaver program, at the fire department as well, to help aid those in need who may need these devices.

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