New program has potential to save lives



VINCENNES, Ind. (WTHI) – The Vincennes City Fire Department launched a new program that’s saving time and maybe even future lives. This is all thanks to a local woman who inspired the cause.

In a city of 20,000 people, one woman has a vision.

“She’s a unique kid, you know special needs has unique challenges,” said Chris Dill.

It’s an idea inspired by her autistic daughter, Jenny.

“There are a lot of Jennys out there,” said Dill.

Her daughter often wanders away from home or school. Dill knows what it’s like frantically searching for your child.

This device is taking all those worries away.

“This brings us down from an hour or hours or searching down to minutes,” said Battalion Chief Tony Jarrell.

Project Life Saver allows the Vincennes Fire Department to find people who are at risk for wandering away. This saves every crucial moment in a search for a lost person.

“It’s a matter of life or death,” said Dill.

The program is geared towards autistic children or elderly people with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

“50% of autistics wander. You’re looking at 60% of those with dementia wander so it’s a huge need in our community,” said Dill.

Each tracking device has a number. The firefighters input the number of the missing person.

“The client wears this pendant around their wrist and we use this scanner to locate it,” said Jarrell.

Jenny was the first recipient of the tracking bracelet.

“It’s a huge reassurance,” said Dill.

Now the Fire Department is looking to help others. The bracelet costs $300 but the department is able to help families in a financial need.

But for Chris, there’s no price tag she can put on her daughters’ new found freedom.

“It’s wonderful to be able to send her out and let her have a day,” said Dill.

Knowing her precious daughter will always return home.

To apply as a participant for the program or to donate to future participants, contact the Vincennes City Fire Department at (812) 882-2600.