For families and communities everywhere, caring for senior residents can present some unique challenges. Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO) and their Volunteer Emergency Response Team (VERT) are taking active measures to help increase the safety of their senior residents.
Sheriff Ric Bradshaw of PBSO understands the crucial importance of the first few hours after a senior resident goes missing. To ensure members of VERT were best equipped to respond when they were needed to assist in locating missing persons, Sheriff Bradshaw and the PBSO Crime Prevention Unit spent a day training volunteers from the VERT Unit.
During this training, volunteers were taught how to set-up and operate the “Person Tracking Device.” This tracking equipment is often used on elderly citizens that wear a transmitter around their ankle. Families and caretakers have a three-digit number that identifies with the specific tracking device. If the person ever goes missing, members of PBSO and VERT that are supplied with the tracking equipment, enter the number where they will then receive a signal in the direction of the transmitter.
As the volunteers and officers use the tracking device and get closer to the transmitter, the “chirping” sound gets louder, making it a simple process to locate the missing person. This option provides families and caregivers with peace of mind as it reduces the dangers of missing loved ones.
The PBSO Volunteer Emergency Response Team is one of several volunteer programs that the sheriff’s office offers. The members of VERT are committed to a 24/7 call-out to assist the community in various ways. Their duties include directing traffic at the scene of accidents so officers can focus on the incident and resolve it quickly, helping with school traffic control and other emergencies to help ensure public safety.
The Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office established its volunteer program in 1989 and has grown to over 1,600 citizen volunteers since then. These volunteers work to enhance and strengthen the future of their community and improve the quality of life. To learn more and to join the volunteers, write to [email protected].