Customer Success Story
Locating a Missing Person in Chippewa County, MI
As many first responders will tell you, time is the most important factor after someone goes missing. The first few minutes and hours of a missing person search are crucial. When someone goes missing, the watchful eyes of local residents become a valuable tool for providing clues and information. How can local officials notify their community to provide assistance and locate a missing person before time runs out? The answer lies in fast delivery and clear and effective messaging.
In Chippewa County, Michigan, an elderly man with dementia went missing. The man had walked away from his home before, and was usually found in the vicinity of the neighborhood where he was last seen. However, this time he wasn’t anywhere nearby, and 9-1-1 professional Michelle Robbins knew that she needed to reach out to the residents of her small town for their assistance.
Even in today’s hyper-connected world, spreading the word to the right people can be a challenge for 9-1-1 professionals. Products like Rave Alert eliminate these hurdles by giving officials the ability to instantly send alerts via text, email and voice call.
More importantly, Rave Alert is simple enough to do all this in just three clicks. The power to customize and send to segmented audiences means Robbins could target the surrounding radius of the man’s home without bothering people in far away areas. This is crucial, as people who receive messages that don’t apply to them are more likely to develop notification fatigue and opt out of receiving future emergency messaging.
Understanding that 94 percent of people with dementia who wander are found within 1.5 miles of where they disappeared, Robbins used Rave Alert’s geo-fencing feature to only send alerts within a 1.60 mile radius from the man’s home. Rave Alert also allowed Robbins to quickly adjust the boundaries of this radius to ensure that no messaging went over the nearby Canadian border.
“Composing and posting the notification was so easy that I was able to send it out even though I wasn’t in the office at the time,” she says. “Being able to message the community quickly and accurately was invaluable during a missing person case when every minute counts.”
“Being able to message the community quickly and accurately was invaluable during a missing person case when every minute counts.”
CHIPPEWA COUNTY, MI
Once Robbins sent out the message to her community, it only took a matter of minutes for her team to receive a lead. A woman who received the notification found the missing man walking in her yard, and she quickly alerted authorities.
In just 30 minutes after Robbins sent her initial message, first responders were able to locate the missing man and return him home. Such a quick response would not have been possible had it not been for Rave Alert’s capability for quick and concise action. However, the most valuable asset was the Chippewa County community, who’s compassion, sharp eyes and quick action helped make this rescue possible.
“I ran into an acquaintance of mine afterward,” says Robbins, “and she told me that there was traffic on the street where the man had gone missing because everyone jumped in their cars to help look for him after receiving the message. It made believers out of our small community that Rave Alert is a good system, because they love to hear that it helped this incident had a happy ending.”
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