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Project Lifesaver Bracelet Saves Massachusetts Child From Certain Death

Foundlogo After you read this story, consider making a donation to our sponsor National Autism Association's FOUND initiative HERE. And don't forget their conference on 11/11 in St. Pete. The National Autism Association (NAA) has announced the launch of a new program aimed at providing families and counties nationwide with safety tools for children with autism. The FOUND Program is the organization’s third direct-assistance program, which will immediately fund $54,400.00 to provide at least eight counties with Project Lifesaver equipment and tracking watches...

Project Lifesaver is a nationwide tracking program established to locate and rescue missing persons, namely those with cognitive impairments and developmental disabilities.

Read the full story in the Patriot Ledger.

QUINCY — Quincy Police Lt. Dan Minton waded into the water at Wollaston Beach and approached the boy cautiously so as to not startle him.

Minton said he chatted nonchalantly with the 8-year-old about swimming, and the boy took his hand.

As they walked back to shore, the boy complained of pain in his foot as he crossed some rough sea floor. Minton lifted him on his shoulder and brought him to his mother, who was racing across the sand toward them.

The Wednesday rescue of the Quincy boy, who has autism, might have had a less happy ending if it had taken place two years ago.

But thanks to Minton’s quick thinking, as well as a national program that uses a LoJack-manufactured monitoring device to keep tabs on children with special needs and Alzheimer’s patients, the boy was found within 15 minutes.

Minton was watching his daughter’s high school volleyball game on Wednesday when he got the call about the missing 8-year-old.

Minton, who oversees the monitoring program for Quincy police, recognized the boy’s name and knew he is autistic. Minton’s training emphasized that autistic children often gravitate to water, so he headed toward Wollaston Beach.

“I grabbed one of my daughters to be a spotter while I’m driving and we went right down to the ocean,” Minton said.

Fourteen minutes after the boy’s mother called to report him missing, Minton carried him unharmed out of the water.

“He was so thrilled to be in the water, frolicking in the water,” Minton said. “He was just loving it. ”

The rescue is a dramatic example of how the Project Lifesaver program works...

Comments

Nancy Naylor

Yes, this did save a life and I'm happy for this boy and his family. But -lest we forget - vaccines have been known to save lives too. That doesn't mean that they don't have life-altering side effects. I believe wireless radiation is detrimental to our kids and I would be more likely to give to Every Child by Two than to organizations to fund wireless devices for our children. (Not that I'll give to either one.) Just as we should investigate the safety of vaccines before injecting our children with them, shouldn't we make sure that exposure to wireless radiation is safe before we attach these bracelets to our kids wrists?

Dadvocate

Some systems may be preferable to others but my takeaway is that the technology and first responder training worked together perfectly to produce an absolutely ideal result.

The more press this story gets, the better.

The followup should be for this family to get better perimeter security and for all of us to have an autism emergency plan in place...it can save time and lives by getting key info to first responders early. Consider putting info into your local 911 data base.

Becky H-A

Law enforcement in many communities further south me have a locator system originally developed for wildlife, by CareTrack. After reading about a recent rescue of an ASD child using the system, I called my local enforcement to drum up support to get it in my community. I found our that our county sheriff already has plans to implement a LoJack system. Now I am grateful for any locator device, but after reading the details on each, and after calling LoJack support person to confirm, I was left with the impression CareTrak was better because of the features and lower cost. They both use the same technology for locating, both have police-owned locator devices and the individual wears the band. But with Caretrack the parent can purchase an additional unit that can be set to allow the child to move about within that set radius (from 50 to 400 feet, I think). If the child exceeds the invisible perimeter, the unit alarms. LoJack doesn't have this device, and in talking with their representative I was extremely disappointed that he didn't even know their competition, CareTrak, or that their competetion has this feature which they lacked and were not developing. I explained to the LoJack rep that finding my child within 15 minutes isn't good enough because he can drown in 2 minutes. It is better to hear the alarm of a perimiter device and pursue the child before they make it to the water rather than to rely on the police finding him when I realize he has gone too far from view. And the perimeter alarm device is portable--so you can go camping as a family and set the device rather than hoping the location your camping in has law enforcement with a LoJack locator in case your child wanders off. Finally, the caretrack bracelets can be changed by the parent whereas for LoJack a trained technician (not even the local police) must change it. Because of this, their bracelets have high monthly fees whereas with CareTrack you own it and pay a much lower cost to change the battery/band every 2 months yourself. LoJack, I hope you are reading, because if my county law enforcement trumps my township's plans to get CareTrak, I hope you will develop the perimeter alarm and make a more affordable band that the parent can change themselves.

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