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Missing elderly man found thanks to free device

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(WPMI)

An elderly man with Alzheimer’s went missing Friday morning. He is now home safe.

His family credits the fast rescue to a program the Mobile County Sheriff's Office offers.

Tense, scary moments Friday for Barbara Bumpers and her 77-year-old brother Edgar.

"It brought tears to my eyes," she said. "Pain in my heart."

Edgar suffers with Alzheimer’s. Bumpers says he wandered out the back door around 9 o'clock Friday morning.

"I was nervous when I got up and saw that the door was open," Bumpers said. "I got real nervous."

Thankfully she remembered he had on a wristband transmitter. Mobile County Sheriff's Office responded and used equipment to track him down.

"A perimeter was setup and fortunately this gentleman was found within 45 minutes," MCSO Sgt. Joe Mahoney said.

The wristband is part of the Project Lifesaver program. It's free and offered to any elderly person with Alzheimer’s, dementia, autism or other disorders.

It gives off a signal that can be picked up by special receivers up to a three mile range.

Officials say in this case it did what it was supposed to do.

"This program saved a life in this instance because he was found in a heavy, wooded area and I don't think he would have been found in time without this," Mahoney said.

Bumpers says when they found Edgar he was hooked on a fence and couldn't pull away. She says she's thankful he had the device.

"I thank God for the wristband," she said. "It really helps, it really helps and it pays to have one on."

The sheriff's office has had Project Lifesaver for about 6 years. It says 26 people are currently registered.

You can find more information on Project Lifesaver here.