Family of missing McCallie student had device that alerted rescu - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Family of missing McCallie student had device that alerted rescue crews

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The family of the McCallie student missing in the Grand Canyon was able to quickly send out an alert for help because they had a Personal Locator Beacon with them.

It’s a safety gadget that uses GPS technology to alert search and rescue crews when someone is in trouble.

READ MORE | Merrell Company, families aid in search for missing McCallie student 

The device sends out a 911-type signal for hikers or adventurists who need help.

Personal Locator Beacons are sold online or at outdoor stores and cost around $200. 

Emergency personnel say they’re worth the investment if you plan to hike or camp in areas with poor or no cell phone service.

"The lack of signals have a tendency to be an issue and that's where those come in,” said Amy Maxwell with Hamilton County Emergency Services.

Maxwell says local rescue crews don’t have a lot of experience with the devices in the Tennessee Valley because most places in the area have cellular capabilities.

READ MORE | Search for missing McCallie student, grandmother, missing in Grand Canyon continues

Seconds matter when someone is lost or hurt and the sooner you can start the search and rescue operation the better.

The search continues for Jackson Standefer, 14, who has been missing since Saturday night when he and his step-grandmother were swept down a creek at the Grand Canyon.

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