Dallas Police, EmFinders to Expand Market Trial on Locating Impaired Individuals Who Become Lost

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The Dallas Police have agreed to assist EmFinders this month in the expansion of EmFinders market trial to test an innovative system for locating Alzheimer's patients, autistic children, and other impaired individuals who wander and become lost. Developed by Frisco-based EmFinders, the system takes advantage of existing cellular telephone location technology and requires no additional investment by the city in either technology or training of personnel. The EmFinders system works in coordination with the city's 9-1-1 emergency response system.

Instead of spending days, weeks or even months frantically looking for someone, the EmFinders system can give us the location within minutes. This means we can prevent tragedies and conserve our resources at the same time.

The Dallas Police have agreed to assist EmFinders this month in the expansion of the ongoing EmFinders market trial to test an innovative system for locating Alzheimer's patients, autistic children, and other impaired individuals who wander and become lost.

Developed by Frisco, TX-based EmFinders, the system takes advantage of existing cellular telephone location technology and requires no additional investment by the city in either technology or training of personnel. The EmFinders system works in coordination with the city's 9-1-1 emergency response system.

During the market trial, which is scheduled to run from Jan. 15 through Jan. 31, EmFinders will provide free use of the wristband device and location service to selected families in Dallas. If an individual wearing the device wanders away, here is what will happen:

1.    The parent, spouse, or other caregiver calls police, reports the individual is missing, and receives a case number.
2.    The family member or caregiver then calls the EmFinders call center, which remotely activates the device the missing individual is wearing.
3.    Upon activation, the device essentially "calls" 9-1-1 and the location appears on the operator's electronic map just as if it were a regular cell phone call; an electronic voice message identifies the call as a missing person and gives the case number.
4.    The 9-1-1 dispatcher then can send police or fire and rescue personnel to retrieve the lost individual.

Dallas Police Communications Division Chief Nancy Kirkpatrick said the EmFinders system has the potential to change forever how emergency responders handle cases of impaired individuals who wander and become lost. She pointed out that if an impaired individual cannot be found within 24 hours, there is a good chance that person will die from dehydration or hypothermia.

"This appears to be a cost-effective solution to a very serious problem," said Chief Brigitte Gassaway of the Youth and Family Support Division. "Instead of spending days, weeks or even months frantically looking for someone, the EmFinders system can give us the location within minutes. This means we can prevent tragedies and conserve our resources at the same time."

James Nalley, co-founder and CEO of EmFinders, said the device and activation service will go on sale first in Texas in late January or early February and then nationally in early spring 2009. The device will cost in the range of $180-200 and the activation service will cost $25 per month, he said.

More information is available at the EmFinders web site, http://www.EmFinders.com. To be considered for the market trial project, e-mail, studyinfo(at)emfinders.com or call 972-987-1440.

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GREGORY GRAZE
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