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Alzheimer's Patient Rescued Tracking SafetyNet in Halifax  

Rescue Story 11/29/2011
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Plymouth County Sheriff Uses  SafetyNet Tracking Service to Locate  Alzheimer’s Resident Unharmed; Had Wandered from Halifax Home


PLYMOUTH, MA – November 30, 2011 – Deputies from the Plymouth County Sheriff’s department and Halifax Police successfully deployed Tuesday night to locate an elderly Halifax resident who had wandered from home, using a new device that allowed searchers to locate the missing man in a matter of minutes.

  Local officials reported the 79-year-old man missing shortly after 5 p.m. yesterday, officials said.  Specially trained responders arrived on scene and located the man, unharmed, in a wooded area about a quarter mile from his back door.

“As soon as we arrived, we were able to pick up a strong radio signal from the SafetyNet Tracking device,” said James Muscato, Superintendent for Law Enforcement at the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department.  “We followed the signal with the tracking receiver (and) he was right there in some briars, but otherwise OK.”

Muscato said from the initial notification to finish, the rescue took only 45 minutes.

The Tuesday event was the first time public safety officials have successfully activated the tracking device since being implemented countywide last April.  The Sheriff’s Department, local police departments and SafetyNet have worked together to bring the service to 23 out of 27 communities in Plymouth County.   

The SafetyNet service provides law enforcement with the tools and training to more effectively find and rescue individuals who could or are prone to wandering and becoming lost. It also helps caregivers provide an added layer of protection for loved ones with cognitive conditions from the life-threatening behavior of wandering. 

To maximize resources, the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department has trained and certified 20 Deputies on the SafetyNet service.  The service will be used to supplement traditional search and rescue operations conducted by local police and fire departments.

Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph D. McDonald Jr. said the rescue proved the value of the new program, which partners his officers with local police to rapidly respond to wandering situations where moments become vital.

  “This partnership makes it easy to maximize manpower and ensure a fast response. With six rescue receivers in place around the county, searchers are able to grab the closest kit and go.”