A pilot project to help find Alzheimer’s victims and Autistic individuals who wander (is expected to clear) a legislative committee at the State Capitol today. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the idea is to set up a pilot tracking program through the University of Florida.
In this decade, Florida’s population is expected to grow 11 percent…but the number of residents over 65 is expected to jump a whopping 26 percent.. Legislation would set up a hundred thousand dollar pilot program in four NE Florida counties to electronically track Alzheimer’s patients and those with Autism who wander.
Jessica Duncan is with the Alzheimer’s Project. “34 thousand people who have Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia will wander away from their caregiver in the span of a year” says Duncan.
A number of counties already participate in the Project Lifesaver Program. In the State Capitol, the Sheriff’s office operates the tracking devices. Deputy Nancy Burns is in charge of the program. “If you don’t have this, you’re going to send as much manpower as you can to the area, looking on every street, every block, every house. Where with this, we just send two to three deputies.”
We decided to put the tracker to a test.
“So, I’ve got the tracking device, and I’m going to hide.”
I only traveled about 200 yards, which gave tracker Laurie Allie an instant signal…the closer she got, the louder the tracker beeped.
“You got me. In two minutes and six seconds. Pretty fast.”
“The average search time is between 22 and 30 minutes, internationally, for the entire program.The average”
Q:”To be successful?”
A:”For the successful location of a missing person” says Allie.
Car mounted devices are accurate to about a mile. But devices mounted in a helicopter can find someone five to seven miles away.
Columbia, Suwanee, Hamilton and Baker Counties are slated to be the pilot counties. All are located in NE Florida, but if the pilot is successful, the aim is to expand statewide sometime after 2017.
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