By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minneapolis firefighters have a new tool that can be used to save lives.

It’s called SafetyNet.

Firefighters will use the tracking system to help them find lost or wandering children or adults.

The tracking system can be used to find children or adults who have a history of walking away.

Tony Farah believes this new technology will help him keep track of his 11-year-old non-verbal son.

“SafetyNet is going to provide us with safety we’ve been looking for years,” Farah said. “We’ve lost him for 5 minutes a while back, and it felt like 5 years.”

Families of people who have a history of wandering can now sign up for a program designed to keep track of them.

People with cognitive conditions will be fitted with this bracelet. It has a radio frequency transmitter that emits a continuous signal.

If they are lost, first responders will follow the signal coming from the SafetyNet bracelet.

SafetyNet’s Ralph Poland says that since the technology has been available in cities, the longest search lasted hardly a half hour.

The technology can also be fitted on top of fire trucks and can be used by State Patrol helicopters to cover larger areas when needed.

Minneapolis joins St. Paul and 12 other cities using the technology.

You can sign up by calling 311.

The lease program costs $199 for the initial set up and $30 a month.

Alternatively, you can buy the device and service for the year for $499.


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