COLLIER COUNTY, Fla - An Immokalee mother says technology saved her daughter from being taken advantage of and possibly saved her life.
Project Lifesaver is a tool that can be used to find almost anyone, of any age, especially the elderly with Dementia who mistakenly wander away from home.
Judith Pierre is 25 years old. She lives in Immokalee with her mother and is mentally challenged. She has a history of wandering off and after several calls to the Collier County Sheriff's Office, their family was introduced to project lifesaver.
"As a parent, I worry about her so knowing of this project that I'm able to call the police and right away they can search for, that's a relief," says Edith Belmont, Pierre's mother.
Pierre has had a project lifesaver bracelet for a year, but Tuesday was the first time the transmitter was put to work. Deputies were called in and Pierre was found within in 10 minutes less than a mile from home.
"I think it is just a testament to how the program works. It worked exactly how it was supposed to so that's really reassuring and it also gives the family some comfort Knowing this is another tool that we can use to help save their loved ones," says Angela Larson with Project Lifesaver.
Each bracelet emits a radio frequency and has its own special ID number. They put the frequency number in the transmitter and it beeps. They point the receiver at the bracelet and as they get closer, the beep gets faster and louder.
It's a resource the Sheriff's Office has turned to since 2008 to help people with Autism, Cognitive Disabilities and especially Dementia.
"The average search time with the equipment is about 30 minutes. without the equipment it can run up to eight hours," says Larson.
In a search, every second counts and Belmont knows now first hand, it really is a lifesaver.
"Whoever came up with that project, I want to say thank you because it saved my daughter," says Belmont.
In Collier County, there are about 50 people enrolled in the program. Nationwide, Project Lifesaver has found over 2,700 missing people.
There is an enrollement fee, but Project Lifesaver works with those families who are unable to afford it. There is also a $10 monthly fee.
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