CFD Locates Missing Person

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From The Central Fire Department
    Central firefighter Steven Johnson received a call Tuesday night at 5:23 pm that emergency personnel dread, one involving a family member.  The call for assistance was for an elderly female who had wandered away from home and was missing. Complicating the issue were the elderly females' medical condition and the fact that she was last seen in the 10:00 am to noon time frame. 
    Central firefighters joined East Baton Rouge Sheriffs deputies at the family home in the 15600 block of Joor Rd. and immediately began a ground search on foot and using all terrain vehicles.  Family members and neighbors joined in the search of the immediate area to no avail.  The Baton Rouge Police Aviation Division was requested for helicopter assistance and the Sheriffs Office started the process for 911 reverse phone calls to area residence. The Central Police Department was on scene and CFD and Channel 2 immediately utilized social media to notify the public.
    At 6:34 pm Firefighters Michael Kelly and Nick Waxley were searching an area close to Hubbs Rd. on a CFD all terrain vehicle when they heard a sound.  The firefighter turned the motor off and again heard the sound coming from a particular direction.  Kelly and Waxley located the missing female in a nearby wooded area using a thermal imaging camera which is a heat detecting device used by firefighters.  The female was found in good health and was examined by EMS prior to being released to her family.
    Central Fire Chief Bill Porche stated situations such as this often end with tragic circumstances.  Porche stated this is why CFD joined forces with Project Lifesaver International to offer Central residents tracking bracelets that can be used to rapidly locate victims who suffer from dementia or have other medical issues and wander off. Deputy Chief Charles Mondrick estimated if the female in this situation would have been equipped with a Project Lifesaver bracelet, she would have been located by firefighters and back with her family within 15 to 20 minutes of their arrival. CFD District Chief Bert McCutcheon urged Central Citizens who have family members with similar issues to stop by CFD Station 31 at 11646 Sullivan Rd. to obtain information on the Project Lifesaver International program.
    CFD Captain Derek Glover stated this situation was a great example of cooperation and coordination among emergency response agencies and the public.  According to Glover, finding her in just over an hour of searching was truly a blessing and prevented a bad situation from becoming much worse.