HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) – Search and rescue practices are changing for those at risk in the Copper Country.
Project Lifesaver is a tracking system that uses radio frequency bracelets to locate missing persons. It is especially useful when finding people with dementia.
Houghton County Detective Lt. Charlie Klein led the project for Houghton County earlier this year.
âIn April, I saw a need in our community to protect our most vulnerable people with cognitive disabilities,â Klein said. “Whether it is children or adults with the unfortunate result in Ontonagon with the search for Cam Bessonen.”
An eight-year-old boy named Billy received his bracelet on Friday.
The bracelets are waterproof and are replaced every two months by a sheriff.
Houghton County Sheriff Joshua Saaranen was also involved in the project.
âIt’s an extra tool in the toolbox for finding someone who is lost,â Saaranen said. âSomeone with any type of special needs, or any youth or adult at risk. “
âIt will help with the research. Senior search and rescue are trained, we are trained, âSaaranen added.
Now, along with Billy’s band, there are 11 Copper Country families with Project Lifesaver bracelets.
That’s 11 families who can now worry a little less if their loved one goes missing.
âThe search at Ontonagon lasted, I think, three days,â Klein said. âOver $ 100,000 in resources has been spent to research Cam. Where Project Lifesaver – their average response time is 30 minutes.
All four of the Copper Country Sheriff’s Departments are trained to use Project Lifesaver.
The technology is also used nationally.
âThere are other places in the United States that have similar technology,â Saaranen said. âSo if a family were to travel and something happened, these jurisdictions could potentially have similar technology to help. “
The Portage Health Foundation covers the costs of the first 50 families to register for a bracelet.
If your at-risk loved one could benefit from this device, you may consider requesting it.
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