Innovation vs Integrity: Why not have both?

If we had a dollar for every time our using RF instead of GPS was called into question, Project Lifesaver would be well off in its mission to provide our service free of charge to all those in need. Sadly, though, that is not the way of the world, so instead, we muster up the same reasoning that we explain time and time again: “GPS is great; however…”

This is not my first rodeo; I’ve been thrown through the wringer many of times in my 20 years building this organization, but I have also faced the bull head on many times – and when it comes to the safety of these individuals we serve, I refuse to back down from this fight.

Even with a bull charging at me head on, raging war against our practices, I will always stand valiantly in its path if it is the best means of protecting the precious human life we are fighting for.

So here it comes again, our age-old debate over RF and GPS. I am sure you are sick of hearing it; quite honestly, I am sick of telling it, but Project Lifesaver will never sit back and allow these companies to use their slick tactics to cushion their bottom line… not when so much more is actually at stake. By no means am I telling you to choose us over them; that decision is most certainly up to you. However, I am urging you to take caution and do your due diligence before making a decision that could change someone’s whole world forever.

So here are the things I want you to consider when choosing an option to protect your community or your loved ones:

♦ GPS, even assisted GPS, is not fail-proof. In fact, there is no possibility that a GPS device will function as it is advertised 100% of the time throughout its service life.

Poor cell coverage? Bad weather? Inside a building? Located within a densely wooded area or a heavily populated location? Overhead cover?

All the above can and more than likely will interfere with the function of a GPS-enabled device. Don’t believe me? Turn your satellite radio on and then drive into a parking garage… I can guarantee your music of choice will be interrupted. Will the device completely fail? Not necessarily, but it could, and still even the slightest delay or inaccuracy can make the biggest difference in the instance of a missing special needs individual.

♦ How does the device you are considering work in the water? It has been proven that individuals with autism have a higher risk of drowning due to their fascination with water. In fact, nearly half of those with autism who wander will drown resulting in a tragedy.

Can you expect the device you are considering to utilize to function properly when submerged in water, or will water damage the device?

♦ A rechargeable battery, while convenient, could be very dangerous for this population. GPS-enabled devices, due to the nature in which they operate, typically only have up to a 24-hour battery life; though most are even less than that. That means the device will need to be placed on the charger quite often, which could provide a serious safety issue if the individual wanders or elopes during this time.

♦ Many GPS-enabled devices can be large and bulky in size. This can be especially true for devices with a longer battery life – think bigger battery, more power. Many of these devices can be the size of a cell phone, and some are literally just a cell phone disguised in a pouch.

The first half of that statement calls into question the comfort in using the device, its ability to be worn and not removed, and its ability to be concealed, especially on smaller children. The second half of that statement calls into question the integrity of a device that is advertised as one, but actually another.

♦ Most GPS-enabled devices have features that cause privacy concerns. Listen-in and calling features go against the policies of many institutional settings, including schools. Even while some of these features can be disabled, many institutions will still disallow the use of the device on its property.

Project Lifesaver is the trusted and proven most effective program dedicated to protect, and when necessary, quickly locate individuals with cognitive conditions that cause the life-threatening behavior of wandering. How? What sets Project Lifesaver apart from all the other options on the market?

The answer is simple. As a non-profit organization, we do not view wandering protection and prevention as a “market.” Our clear and singular focus is on providing these most vulnerable groups and their caregivers with the support and protection they need. We see our mission as bringing peace of mind and improving the quality of life of these high-risk populations and their caregivers. Our passion is safety, security, and protection – Our philosophy is efficiency, integrity, and innovation.

If and when there is a technology that is proven more effective and reliable than RF, only then will we consider a shift in our operation. But until that time, I choose what I know both in my heart and through decades of proven experience to be the very best option to protect these individuals and bring them home safely. There is a reason Project Lifesaver has a 100% success rate – can these other guys say the same?