New tracking devices to protect those affected with Alzheimer's

By Beau Ebenezer

New tracking devices to protect those affected with Alzheimer's

February 6, 2013 Updated Feb 6, 2013 at 7:25 PM CDT

PEORIA COUNTY Ill -- Peoria's search and rescue team underwent training Wednesday afternoon with new equipment that will allow them to track any missing person diagnosed with Alzheimers or autism.

"The county sheriff keeps the main tracking unit that will actually track up to 200 separate frequencies throughout the county," said the Vice President of Care Trak International, Mike Chylewski. "He can put 200 separate people on this program."

Peoria's search and rescue team put the tracking devices to the test Wednesday.

One training exercise was to search blind folded in order to help better scout out the hidden micro-chips.

"We rely on the equipment more than our eyes. It was pretty cool. We weren't expecting that," said Peoria County Sheriff's Department Lietenant, Mark Molleck.

Families of those diagnosed with Alzheimers and autism will be able to pick up a tracking watch from the sheriffs department to keep track of their loved ones.

The watches cost $300 each, but the sheriff's department hopes to provide them to anyone in need.

The department is currently collecting donations to provide these wrist bands for free.

A diagnosed person only needs a note from his or her doctor.

One search and rescue volunteer knows how vital the new tracking watches are for those diagnosed.

Scott Garrett's father, John Garrett, went missing from his home almost one year ago.

Seven days later he was found dead.

"One of the things you learn in search and rescue is that time is critical," said Garrett. "If you have one of these track bracelets and you have the reciever, then you can pick up an individual very quickly."

Officials say the average rescue time for the Care Trak system is under 30 minutes nationwide.

It is something Peoria County can now say they have in their repertoire.

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