February 18, 2011
Local Residents, City of Torrance Partner to Upgrade Search and Rescue Technology to Improve Safety for Impaired Persons
Frisco, TX —Through a partnership between local citizens and the City of Torrance, Calif. Police Department, impaired individuals, their family members and caregivers can now enjoy added peace of mind and enhanced safety thanks to a new wearable locator system called EmSeeQ. Now available through the City of Torrance PD Community Affairs Division, the watch-like EmSeeQ device by EmFinders uses cellular technology to quickly locate individuals in the event they become lost or wander off as a result of cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, autism and dementia.
Every year thousands of individuals become lost or intentionally wander away, sometimes with tragic results. The ensuing search and rescue can take days or even weeks, costing taxpayers thousands of dollars and causing overwhelming anguish for the families of the victims.
To prevent this kind of tragedy, EmSeeQ uses the nationwide U-TDOA cellular technology to accurately and rapidly determine the location of the device wearer, enabling rescuers to find him or her quickly and reduce the risk of grave injury or even death.
Beginning immediately, free EmSeeQ bracelets will be available for use by city residents with a diagnosed cognitive disorder thanks to the fundraising efforts of former city councilwoman Maureen O’Donnell. In less than three weeks, O’Donnell and several other individuals secured enough donations to purchase the units, making them available free of charge for Torrance residents in need.
The Torrance PD issues the devices; individual families are responsible for registering them and paying the monthly $25 fee for location services. The program is modeled after the City of Long Beach’s Safe Reunion initiative.
“This is a great partnership between city residents and our department to ensure the ongoing safety and security of individuals who are at risk of wandering. You have heard me say it before, keeping a community safe is based on the support and involvement of the community,” said Torrance Police Chief John J. Neu. “Prior to EmSeeQ, a search and rescue operation for a lost individual may have taken hours or days, even with our resources, and with coordinating mutual aid from our neighboring police departments. EmSeeQ provides added peace of mind to residents and their families, plus enables our public safety officials to launch a more strategic and rapid response when a wandering emergency does occur. Thanks to the generosity of those who’ve contributed to the program, we can offer the devices for free and the service comes at a very affordable price. I salute our Community Affairs department for bringing in this new program, a great example of Focused Based Policing.”
EmFinders works directly with public safety access point (PSAP) dispatchers to greatly reduce the search timeframe for a rescue operation. The at-risk 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 first performs a brief search. Once an emergency situation is confirmed, the caregiver calls 911 to report the elopement and then contacts EmFinders to activate the EmSeeQ device. The device places a call and provides its location to 9-1-1- dispatchers who can then send assistance, as they do every day for thousands of wireless 911 calls per month.
“With the incidence of Alzheimer’s and autism disorders on the rise, public safety organizations across the country are becoming keenly aware of the need for an effective alternative to GPS and other less reliable solutions,” said EmFinders Vice President of Sales Harry Smeenk. “The EmSeeQ system has already proven effective with life-saving rescues in California, Texas, Virginia and more, and we are pleased to offer this valuable service to the residents of Torrance.”
The EmSeeQ product is available in two different styles: a watchband-type device with a traditional buckle, and a clasp-style that requires two hands to remove for added security.
For more information about EmFinders’ EmSeeQ emergency locator system, please visit www.emfinders.com. Torrance residents interested in acquiring a device or making a contribution toward the purchase of additional units should contact Officer Chad Farley with the Torrance PD Community Affairs Division at 310-328-3456.