Each one-ounce bracelet has a unique frequency that emits a signal twenty-four hours a day and is associated with a particular individual. The effective range of transmission is approximately a mile and a half.
If or when a PLS participant goes missing, the Search and Rescue coordinator (a deputy sheriff) responds to the place where the individual was last seen and attempts to locate the signal from the bracelet. If he can do so, the individual is quickly found and returned to a safe environment. If he cannot hear the signal, he calls for the assistance of trained search and rescue volunteers who will search in a spiral fashion away from the point where the individual was last seen. When the signal is detected, they converge and locate the individual.
Nationally, the average search time for an Alzheimer’s patient drops from twelve hours to about thirty minutes using this technology. When you think of a ninety-pound, eighty-year-old grandmother outside in twenty degree weather in her nightgown, this reduction in search time can easily mean the difference between life and death.