“Hi, Michael. You doing okay, today?”
It looks just like a watch.
“Okay, what color do you like? You like this one? Ok!”
This high-tech device could be what helps bring a loved one home.
“You have to leave it on every day, ok?”
Overnight, 16-year-old Michael Pham disappeared from his home on the city’s northwest side. Pham is severely autistic and non-verbal.
For hours and hours, crews used drones, night vision and even K9s to help track him down.
“The longer it goes, the more stressful it is.”
A medic found Pham safe in a Meijer about two-and-a-half miles from his home.
“It’s scary for everybody. The family last night, it’s dark outside, our fear is that he’s going to get hit by a car, there’s plenty of retention ponds around.”
Pham’s family told first responders this isn’t the first time he’s wandered away – and that’s another reason why Stephen Jones and other Pike Township firefighters wanted to make sure he now has this tracking device.
“It helps us do our job – is to be able to find them quickly and return them home safely.”
It transmits on a radio frequency. Each device has its own specific frequency, so as search teams get closer, their receiver will star catching the signal.
“That way, we lessen the chance of harm happening to that person who gets lost.”
According to Project Life Saver, the average time to find someone who is wearing this tracking device is 30 minutes. That means there’s less time being scared and more time being safe.
“Last night, at the end of the day, was a good story. We found him, got him home, that’s the story we want. That’s what we want in our communities, return them home safely.”