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Travis County to Provide Locator Bracelets for Alzheimer's Patients

Date: 2011-05-26
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Local Partnership with Sheriff's Office and Silver Search

Travis County to Provide EmSeeQ® Bracelets for Individuals with Tendency to Wander Due to Alzheimer's and Dementia

The Travis County Sheriff's Office has adopted the EmFinder's EmSeeQ® wearable locator system that uses cellular technology to quickly locate individuals who are prone to wandering due to cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Travis County is the first Texas agency to adopt the EmSeeQ system to upgrade its search and rescue technology for locating wandering and lost persons

A limited quantity of EmSeeQ bracelets is now available through the Silver Search – Travis County program to those with a diagnosed cognitive disorder. EmSeeQ devices are also available for purchase by individuals and caregivers as a tool to help in the search and rescue of vulnerable citizens who are prone to becoming lost and may be unable to identify themselves or ask for help.

"As the technology evolved, we became very impressed with the EmSeeQ system," said Sheriff Hamilton. "I believe that the system has proven it can not only save lives but also help to reduce the number of resources we must deploy in the event of a wandering or missing person case, and I am proud to be the first law enforcement agency in Texas to facilitate the use of the system with our program."

EmFinders works directly with emergency 911 dispatchers to greatly reduce the search timeframe for a rescue operation. The individual wears the bracelet 24/7 or as needed, based on the unique situation. If the individual is missing or has wandered off, the caregiver calls 911 to report the elopement and then contacts EmFinders to activate the EmSeeQ device. The personal bracelet device places a call to 911 and provides its location to dispatchers who can then direct responders to the specific location, as they do every day for thousands of wireless 911 calls.

The EmSeeQ bracelet can accurately locate the device wearer to within meters, typically within 30 minutes, to virtually eliminate time-consuming search and rescue operations that can jeopardize the lost individual's safety and cost taxpayers thousands of dollars. The system provides an added layer of security and peace of mind for caregivers who often live in constant worry that their loved one will become lost or wander off, putting themselves in grave danger of serious injury or even death from exposure to the elements or obstacles they may encounter along the way.

"EmSeeQ is a wonderful device that allows individuals in moderate stages of Alzheimer's to live independently as long as possible, and it provides additional security for those who, in later stages, may become lost and lose all sense of time and space," said Debbie Hanna, president of the Capital of Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. "As the leading voice for individuals with Alzheimer's in Central Texas, we have been watching EmFinders' product development from the very beginning, and we participated in a prior testing. It was remarkable to see how quickly it works. We are thrilled to see this technology from a local company be made available in Travis County, and we look forward to working with EmFinders to expand this opportunity in other areas we serve."

In addition to serving as a referral and resource organization for individuals with Alzheimer's and their families, the Austin-based chapter has also provided special training to Travis County Sheriff's deputies and more than 2,000 licensed Peace Officers in Central Texas on how to approach lost individuals and handle critical wandering cases involving individuals with Alzheimer's.

The EmSeeQ system can track the whereabouts of a missing person beyond the Travis County/Austin area, anywhere in the U.S. where cellular service coverage exists. The wearable watch-like EmSeeQ system uses the nationwide TruePosition U-TDOA cellular technology, which locates more than 60 million 911 calls a year, to accurately determine the location of the device wearer, enabling rescuers to quickly find him or her. And, unlike GPS systems, EmSeeQ works inside buildings and in other areas where the satellite signals required for GPS may be obstructed.

"We have been so grateful for the support and assistance we've received from Travis County and the Capital City chapter of the Alzheimer's Association since the early days of our technology development," said EmFinders Co-Founder Jim Nalley. "Today, we are especially honored to have our life-saving technology at work here in our home state."

For information about obtaining an EmSeeQ device for residents in the Travis County area, contact the Silver Search – Travis County program

For more information about EmFinders' EmSeeQ emergency locator system, please visit EmFinders

- Corporate News/9-1-1magazine.com (via EmFinders, 5/23/11).

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