Firefighters Train to Better Find Missing Persons With Cognitive - KOAM TV 7

Firefighters Train to Better Find Missing Persons With Cognitive Condition In Miami, Oklahoma


The Miami, Oklahoma Fire Department today trained on searches for missing people with cognitive disorders. The session was conducted with the help of  an International Non-Profit called "Project Lifesaver," and was sponsored by The Miami chapter of The Pilot Club.
"Getting a stronger signal TrTracy
"It's stronger and I've got it turned all the way down so he's got to be real close."
Lt. Joel Harris is an EMT with the Miami Fire Department. He's one of eight members of the Department in a three day training program on how to search for those with cognitive disorders. Harris says the Department is teaming up with an international non-profit called Project Lifesaver. The non-profit has tracking devices with individual frequency for people who wander, such as those with dementia, autism or down syndrome.
"Early detection is the key, and just going through the whole process of tuning the equipment to the appropriate frequencies and starting our grid searches and our search patterns," Harris said.
And the Project Lifesaver representative sent to train Harris and the other firefighters is Kathy Ash. She says the searching devices are now available in over 44 states, but that the three day training isn't just about how to use the equipment. It's also to explain how to handle those with cognitive disorders once they are found.

"Speak their name, look at them, eye contact, give them a little bit of time to respond to you, give them time to understand that you're there to help them, and not just rush them off safely," Ash said.
And according to Ash this equipment, when used properly, finds missing persons in an average of 30 minutes. Which is huge according to Harris, especially for those with cognitive disorders.  

"They don't understand danger, they don't understand the situations they are getting themselves into. The earlier we get them home, the safer we get them home the better it is for everyone," said Harris.
 The tracking bands can be worn on your wrist or ankle and purchased for about $350 dollars.  

For more information on Project Lifesaver, click here. 

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