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Teenager with Autism Goes Missing and Rescued by Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office  

Rescue Story 06/17/2011
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Combination of Ground Units and Helicopter Equipped with SafetyNet Search & Rescue Receivers Helps to Enable Fast Rescue

On June 16th, 2011, a 17-year-old boy with autism who lives in Tampa wandered outside of his residence and did not return.  Upon realizing that he was missing, the boy’s caregiver notified the Tampa Police Department about his disappearance.  The Tampa Police later learned that the boy was enrolled in SafetyNet Tracking, a service that enables public safety agencies to more effectively find and rescue individuals with cognitive conditions who are prone to wandering and becoming lost.  The service features a SafetyNet Bracelet worn by a client that emits Radio Frequency signals, which can be tracked by local public safety officials via their SafetyNet Search and Rescue Receivers.

To assist with this search and rescue, the Hillsborough County Sherriff’s Office (HCSO) were notified about the incident and they immediately informed their ground and aviation units about the boy’s disappearance. Shortly thereafter, HCSO helicopter and ground units equipped with SafetyNet Search and Rescue Receivers picked up a signal from the missing boy’s bracelet.  Just 15 minutes after receiving the initial Radio Frequency signal from the SafetyNet bracelet, deputies with HCSO located the boy nearly a half a mile away from his residence sleeping inside an unlocked car at an auto dealership on North Florida Avenue in Tampa.  The boy was later returned to his residence unharmed.

This is the third rescue made by HCSO using SafetyNet’s technology and equipment.  The SafetyNet service, which has been available to residents in Hillsborough County since September 2009, provides peace of mind to caregivers of people at risk of wandering by using proven technology specifically designed for public safety agencies.