Plymouth County Sheriff Uses SafetyNet Service to Locate Alzheimer’s Resident Unharmed

Deputies from the Plymouth County, MA Sheriff’s department and Halifax Police successfully deployed Tuesday night to locate an elderly Halifax resident who had wandered from home, using their SafetyNet tracking equipment 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 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 SafetyNet tracking device since being implemented countywide in April 2011.

Thanksgiving – A Time for Reflection and Thanks

There’s a chill in the air and the trees are almost bare.  Here in New England that’s a clear sign that fall is upon us and soon the Thanksgiving holiday will be here.  Where ever you are and whatever your situation is, Thanksgiving is a perfect time to give thanks!

Personally, I’m thankful for my wonderful family, my health, my spouse, my caring co-workers, my two dogs and many many other things. I urge you to think about what you are thankful for and to let those people (and pets!) know how much you appreciate them.

As a company, we here at SafetyNet sincerely appreciate our close nit community. Our customers, followers and supporters have played a massive role in our growth and we truly appreciate and want to thank all of you.

It’s a great feeling for us when we hear about success stories like this and this, which proves our efforts to bring loved ones back home with our SafetyNet service really do work and we are in fact saving lives.

As the Thanksgiving holiday comes closer, here are some links that may be helpful to you:

Thanksgiving Travel Tips:
http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2010/11/12/dont-turkey-follow-thanksgiving-travel-tips/

Thanksgiving Cooking and Safety Tips:
http://www.catalogs.com/info/kitchen/thanksgiving-cooking-tips.html

http://www.safetyathome.com/seasonal-safety/holiday-safety-articles/thanksgiving-cooking-tips-serving-up-a-side-of-safety/

 

Thanksgiving Events – Family and Black Friday:
http://www.fchornet.com/2.2211/a-beginners-guide-to-shopping-black-friday-1.2704947#.TsaEiGPfdWA

http://www.wafb.com/story/16074437/best-buys-worst-buys-on-black-friday-2011

http://dfw.cbslocal.com/guide/family-guide-to-thanksgiving-volunteering/

http://fatherhoodchannel.com/2010/10/29/thanksgiving-family-survival-guide-2010/

Thank you for reading and we look forward to a prosperous 2012 and beyond.

Stay safe!

Jason at SafetyNet

The Benefits of Radio Frequency Technology for Finding People Who Wander

By Jennifer Morrissey
Customer Care Specialist, SafetyNet

When I attend conferences and events, I’m lucky enough to meet a lot of parents and caregivers. And it is safe to say that a lot of people don’t know what Radio Frequency is. It is also safe to say that I didn’t know much about it before I joined SafetyNet.

I feel it is important for me to say right away that each family needs to find a system that works for them, whether it’s RF, cellular or GPS. Eloping or wandering is a serious issue that affects those with cognitive conditions such as autism, Alzheimer’s, dementia, Down syndrome, brain injuries and other serious conditions. And while the families have already prepared for a wandering incident by using special locks around the house on doors and windows, alarms and fences – sometimes it is just not enough. I have heard many parents of children with autism describe their son or daughter as “Houdini.” No matter what lengths they have taken, their child is still able to get out.

It is when your loved one gets out of the safe, secure area of your home that the SafetyNet™ Service comes into play. Once you realize he is missing, you will undoubtedly call 911 about this emergency. Since law enforcement is going to do the search anyway, you may want to add the SafetyNet Service to the tool box and help bring your loved one home sooner. The average missing person search is roughly nine hours. Nowadays, you don’t have to go very far to read a story in the news or on Facebook about someone missing overnight or even for days. And with the cold weather coming, every minute counts. The SafetyNet Service could bring them home within minutes.

Now on to why I feel RF is the best locating device for a missing person.

Radio Frequency is not obstructed by concrete. Not steel. Not densely wooded areas. And, it can work in shallow water.

How many times have you had a dropped call on your cell phone? Or maybe you can’t even make cell phone calls from inside your own home or office. Sometimes your cell phone will be in a “dead zone” where you may get a “No Service” message. Basically, you need to be near cell towers in order to use a cell phone. So if you find yourself in an area where there is too much distance between the towers or no towers at all (usually in remote areas), the phone won’t be able to find a signal and therefore you’ll get “No Service.” Essentially, your loved one could be wearing a cellular device and end up somewhere without service and the signal would not get picked up.

Last week, I was using the GPS in my car and when I pulled into an underground garage, it stopped working. The reason for that is because the GPS unit needs a direct line of sight to the sky andsatellite from which it is getting the directions. Because I went into an underground structure made of concrete, the GPS could not communicate with the satellite and lost contact.

Two weeks ago, SafetyNet was used to find a missing teen with autism. The police found him within minutes in an underground subway system of Boston. Radio Frequency was able to penetrate through the subway system and onto land, where officers with the MBTA Police were able to pick up a signal using SafetyNet’s equipment and head to the location of the missing boy. You can read more about that story on BostonHerald.com.

I also mention to parents and caregivers that the equipment that public safety officers use can pick up the RF signal in the SafetyNet bracelet up to one mile on the ground and up to 7 miles in the air. SafetyNet equipment has been used multiple times by aviation units to find a missing person, including this past week in Philadelphia – http://www.metro.us/philadelphia/local/article/975850–police-missing-man-located-with-safetynet-technology.

The last thing I talk about has nothing to do with RF, but I find it incredibly important. During the training that public safety gets from SafetyNet officials, they not only learn about using the equipment but also on how to approach and interact with someone who has a cognitive condition. We here at SafetyNet take the time to learn about your loved one during the enrollment process so that we can share that information in a secure database with public safety agencies. That way, they have a sense of who your son, daughter, mother, father or loved one is before they even reach the scene. Is your son afraid of dogs? Does your father walk with a cane?

The SafetyNet Service uses tried and true RF technology. That along with trained law enforcement, you can feel good about your loved one on the SafetyNet service. Enroll before the end of September by October 15, 2011 and get waived enrollment and six months free.

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15-Year-Old Boy with Autism Wandered to Boston’s Subway System; Rescued by MBTA Transit Police Using SafetyNet System

Yesterday morning, a 15-year-old resident of East Boston – who has autism and is enrolled in the SafetyNet Service – wandered away from his school to one of his favorite spots – the subway system – and was rescued within approximately 20 minutes by MBTA Transit Police using the SafetyNet System. This is the first rescue in Boston since the service was made available in January 2011.

Details of the Rescue:
When school officials noticed the boy was missing, they immediately called 911. Boston Police Department dispatch notified its ground units, as well as the MBTA Transit Police Department. Police were alerted that the boy’s last known location was North Station and arrived with their SafetyNet tracking equipment. Approximately 20 minutes after arriving at North Station, officers with the MBTA Transit Police began picking up a signal emitting from the missing boy’s SafetyNet Bracelet. The signal was coming from Downtown Crossing and was strongest underground. Officers went underground into the subway, boarded a train and were able to locate the boy, who was heading southbound. Using techniques learned in the SafetyNet training sessions, the officers were able to effectively communicate with and approach the boy and ultimately safely remove him from the train. He was rescued unharmed and later brought back to his parent.

“We are proud of our transit police officers’ quick response to this emergency situation,” said Transit Police Deputy Chief Joseph O’Connor. “With the use of SafetyNet Search and Rescue Receivers, officers were able to reunite the lost child with his family within minutes.”

This is the first rescue of a client enrolled in the SafetyNet service in the city of Boston.

The SafetyNet service is comprised of 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.

The SafetyNet service is currently available to residents in Boston, as well as many surrounding towns and counties. In an effort to provide valuable protection to individuals at risk of wandering, SafetyNet, Inc. is currently providing 1,500 free SafetyNet devices — along with six months of service — now through September 30, 2011 October 15, 2011 to any interested caregivers living in SafetyNet’s coverage areas. For more information on SafetyNet and the giveaway, please contact (877) 4-FINDTHEM (877-434-6384) or visit www.safetynettracking.com.

Woman with Dementia Rescued by Marathon County Sheriff’s Office After She Wandered and Went Missing; First SafetyNet Rescue in Wisconsin

Congratulations to the Marathon County (WI) Sheriff’s Office! They were the first public safety agency in Wisconsin to use SafetyNet’s state-of-the-art technology and safely rescue a missing person who had wandered and went missing.

A 71-year-old woman with dementia wandered away from her Wausau, Wisconsin residence and went missing late last week. Just 30 seconds after deputies with the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the missing woman’s residence (her point last seen), they located her using SafetyNet’s Search and Rescue Receivers. The woman was located behind a building near her residence.

A deputy with the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office was pleased with the speed and efficiency of the SafetyNet-enhanced search and rescue, as was the woman’s family!

At SafetyNet, we were all thrilled to hear about this terrific story. And, we want more caregivers to have an opportunity to try the service for themselves. Now through September 30th October 15th, 2011, we’re giving caregivers and parents the opportunity to try the SafetyNet service for free for six months. If during the first six months you or your loved one is not satisfied with the service for whatever reason, you are not obligated to pay anything. To learn more about this special opportunity, please visit https://www.safetynettracking.com/.

Teenager with Autism Goes Missing and Rescued by Hillsborough County Sherriff’s Office

On June 16th, a 17-year-old boy with autism who lives in Tampa, FL 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, 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.

Summer Safety and Children with Autism

It’s never too soon to start thinking about summer, especially here in the Northeast, where it has rained every day for the past week! Care2.com recently did a post on thinking about the needs associated with a child with autism and their transition to summer, especially when it comes to the issue of summer safety. At SafetyNet, we’ve recorded a podcast that addresses several topics related to summer safety and children with autism. Take a listen.  What are some of the protective measures that you take to help keep loved ones safe from wandering, particularly during the summer?

Mom Turns Son’s Wandering Scare Into a Cause

via http://preventautismwandering.blogspot.com/

Last summer, Samantha Gardner’s 5-year old son Abram, who has autism, wandered away from home in search of ice cream. Found one mile away at the local Dairy Queen, this incident was fortunately just a scare. However, over 50% of children with autism will wander and not all will be as lucky as Abram Gardner to make their way back home. To bring awareness to this issue, Samantha started the PAW Project.

“PAW, Preventing Autistic Wandering, is a project to alert the people of this county to a pressing community concern: autism-related wandering is a dangerous and poorly-understood phenomenon that is not always preventable, but is always manageable. What is needed is an intensive awareness and training campaign. Today, PAW is one dedicated mom with a cause—wage this campaign.”

To see the path that Abram followed when he wandered, watch the video below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGcYZhh99bU

Petition Aims to Keep Loved Ones Safe from Wandering-Related Injuries and Death

change.org

The ICD-9-CM Coordination and Maintenance Committee is considering a proposal that would create a medical diagnostic code for wandering. There is a petition available to sign and show support. Here are just a few reasons why a medical diagnostic code will help protect at-risk individuals with a history of wandering:

- Physicians are largely unaware of this issue; therefore, cannot provide prevention materials or advice. A diagnostic code will increase awareness, advice and prevention-material distribution.

– A diagnostic code will allow for data collection on the incidence of wandering, thereby increasing opportunities for prevention, education for doctors, caregivers, school administrators and staff, first responders/search personnel.

- Many nonverbal ASD individuals are unable to respond to their name when called. We feel a diagnosis code will lead to increased awareness and the development of emergency search-and-rescue response protocols.

- We believe a medical code will enhance schools’ understanding of wandering so that children with a history of wandering will be better protected. Currently, wandering is not looked at as a medical condition, but one of choice or bad behavior. This has lead to a lack of school training, prevention and emergency response. In January alone, two children with autism went missing from their schools.

- Children and adults with ASD who suddenly flee, bolt or run because of a trigger are at greater risk of restraint or seclusion. We believe a medical code will help establish safe protocols that work to eliminate triggers, thereby eliminating the need for restraint.

- We’ve seen reports of parents locking/secluding children in their rooms to keep them from wandering outside. While this is anecdotal information, we believe parents, schools and other care providers need better solutions. A medical code has enormous potential to help provide safe alternatives.

- We believe every disabled individual with a history of wandering — who is at serious risk of injury, trauma or death — should have access to safety devices and prevention materials regardless of the caregiver’s income. A medical code for wandering could potentially provide insurance coverage for those unable to afford critical protections for their children/adults.

You can visit change.org to sign the petition or to submit a personal or organizational letter.

via http://www.change.org/petitions/keep-our-loved-ones-safe-from-wandering-related-injuries-and-death-4#signatures?opt_new=t&opt_fb=t

SafetyNet available in Davie, Florida

Finding a missing loved-one that has wandered off can be as simple as tracking a radio signal.

The Davie Police Department has joined the SafetyNet program that provides wrist or ankle bracelets for people suffering from cognitive issues such as Alzheimer’s Disease or Autism who may wander off and become lost.

The SafetyNet program is offered to qualified law enforcement and public safety agencies at no cost, according to the SafetyNet Web site. The free training includes learning how to use the search and rescue equipment and in-depth training and certification of it, technology and procedures for performing a search and rescue operation.

via SafetyNet Technology To Help Find Wandering Elderly « CBS Miami.