MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minneapolis Fire Department is the latest entity to adopt technology to help find missing vulnerable adults and children.
Fire officials and the city are partnering with a company called SafetyNet, whose technology is designed to safely return people with disabilities or impairments to their loved ones. Residents will now be able to sign up for the voluntary program, that utilizes a bracelet with a radio frequency that allows search crews to identify the location of a person who has wandered off or is missing.
"The nice thing about radio frequency as opposed to GPS is the radio frequency actually emits through walls, through barriers and other things, that GPS may not," said Bryan Tyner, assistant chief of administration at the Minneapolis Fire Department.
Tyner says the technology is designed for people with Alzheimer's, autism or dementia who tend to wander.
Minneapolis joins public safety departments in 18 states who use SafetyNet Tracking Systems, according to the company's website. Tyner says Saint Paul was the first big city in Minnesota to use SafetyNet, and his department is following Saint Paul's lead after seeing great success with the program across the river.
People who want to use SafetyNet will have to create a profile on the company's website. There is an initial fee to sign up, but there are no further charges after customers receive their bracelet.
Mayor Betsy Hodges will join the Minneapolis Fire Department for the SafetyNet press conference and demonstration at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Minneapolis Fire Department Emergency Operations and Training Facility.