Tracking technology helps loved ones from going missing

How project Life Saver helps search and rescue teams
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 6:27 PM EDT
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Mich. (WLUC) - The search continues for two missing older women in the Central U.P. Their stories may have you wondering, what can you do to keep your loved ones safe and prevent a tragedy.

65-year-old Helen Kontio was last seen in may in Palmer and 77-year-old Linda Golden disappeared last week in Alger County.

As police ask you to be on the lookout for these two women with cognitive issues agencies also want to spread the word about ways to keep your at-risk family members safe.

One device that can help is a small band that can go along the wrist or leg through Project Life Tracker.

It sends a radio signal that can be picked up by safety officials in an emergency to help track the person wearing it.

“It’s designed for people who are prone to wander for example subjects who have dementia or autism and it’s available for any age,” Superior Search & Rescue President Darian Reed said.

The radio signals are transmitted to the local sheriff’s office if a person goes missing.

Houghton, Ontonagon, Keweenaw, Baraga, Gogebic and Iron counties all implemented the Life Tracker program last fall.

“The biggest thing is that this is a free resource for our four-county region that we have. Contact your local sheriff’s office to try and get involved,” Reed said. “We always want to make sure we are doing everything we can to make this project bigger and better.”

Marquette County implemented Life Tracker in 2007 as one of its tools to help search and rescue teams.

Marquette County currently has 26 people with Life Tracker devices.

“Speaking with parents or the caregivers who have dementia it’s peace of mind,” Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt said. “If they do sneak out of the house, they do take off its peace of mind that there is a good chance we will get them back.”

Zyburt says the device has made a big impact on how fast search and rescue teams are able to find a person.

“Two months ago the perfect scenario, the caregiver called and someone from our search and rescue that lives in the west end turned on their tracking device and it was already transmitting a signal,” Zyburt said. “Within 8 minutes of turning the device on, we found that subject.”

To get a device for a loved one contact your local sheriff’s office and ask for a Life Saver device.

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