Spokane Sheriff's Air Support Unit training to find missing persons - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane Sheriff's Air Support Unit training to find missing persons

Posted: Updated:
Spokane Co. Sheriff's Office Air One helps track missing persons & suspects Spokane Co. Sheriff's Office Air One helps track missing persons & suspects

SPOKANE, Wash. - If you hear the whir of the Spokane County Sheriff's Office Air One helicopter overhead Wednesday afternoon don't worry, its likely part of a training effort between deputies on the ground and the Air Support Unit. Members of the Air Support Unit are training using the Rapid Recovery System that helps the Sheriff's Office locate missing Alzheimer's, dementia, autism and other medically-challenged victims who are prone to becoming lost in Eastern Washington. 

The system uses radio frequencies emitted by bracelets worn by the at-risk patients to track them if they go missing. On the ground the system has a range of about one mile but by using a radio frequency detector onboard Air One the Sheriff's Office increases the effective range to five miles.

The Sheriff's Office encourages people who may be at risk to look into the radio frequency emitting bracelets as a safety precaution. Sgt. Dave Reagan with the Sheriff's Office says that recent changes in Medicare & Medicaid rules may now allow patients to receive financial assistance in obtaining the bracelets.

To learn more about the bracelets contact Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Wade Nelson at wanelson@spokanesheriff.org or at 509-477-7610. 

The Spokane County Sheriff's Air Unit was on a list of possible budget cuts earlier this year but the Spokane County Board of Commissioners voted to continue funding the helicopter unit. Besides assisting in search and rescue the Air Support Unit is used by local law enforcement to assist in tracking suspects during vehicle and foot pursuits using a FLIR imaging system. FLIR stands for Forward Looking Infrared. The FLIR system is a key component in tracking suspects and locating missing persons.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Dog found nearly dead with gunshot wounds still needs a home

    Dog found nearly dead with gunshot wounds still needs a home

    Friday, September 12 2014 8:21 PM EDT2014-09-13 00:21:26 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Many of you may remember Bella, the American Staffordshire Terrier that stole our hearts after she was found by a family camping in the woods near Coeur d'Alene beaten, starving and nearly dead from two gun shot wounds. >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Many of you may remember Bella, the American Staffordshire Terrier that stole our hearts after she was found by a family camping in the woods near Coeur d'Alene beaten, starving and nearly dead from two gun shot wounds. The family who found her, rushed her to the vet and somehow she survived. >>>ADOPT BELLA>>> >>
  • First date ends with man dead, woman hospitalized

    First date ends with man dead, woman hospitalized

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:44 AM EDT2014-09-16 13:44:21 GMT
    TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - Pierce County sheriff's detectives know this much: a first date ended with a Gig Harbor, Washington, man dead and his date hospitalized in critical condition.The News Tribune reports that investigators think the 47-year-old Port Orchard woman ran over her date, then crashed his truck 15 feet down an embankment.>>
    TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - Pierce County sheriff's detectives know this much: a first date ended with a Gig Harbor, Washington, man dead and his date hospitalized in critical condition.The News Tribune reports that investigators think the 47-year-old Port Orchard woman ran over her date, then crashed his truck 15 feet down an embankment.
    >>
  • WATCH: Rarely seen 9/11 Budweiser commercial that aired only once

    WATCH: Rarely seen 9/11 Budweiser commercial that aired only once

    Thursday, September 11 2014 8:52 PM EDT2014-09-12 00:52:54 GMT
    KHQ.COM - This Budweiser commercial was produced after the September 11th terrorist attacks. However, it hasn't been widely seen because Budweiser only aired it once so as not to benefit financially from it - they just wanted to acknowledge the tragic event.>>
    KHQ.COM - This Budweiser commercial was produced after the September 11th terrorist attacks. However, it hasn't been widely seen because Budweiser only aired it once so as not to benefit financially from it - they just wanted to acknowledge the tragic event.>>
  • Top Stories Publishing Category - Top StoriesMore>>

  • Gonzaga Ready to Prove Worthy of No. 1 Seed

    Gonzaga Ready to Prove Worthy of No. 1 Seed

    Thursday, March 21 2013 1:31 AM EDT2013-03-21 05:31:52 GMT
    Gonzaga rolls into the NCAA tournament with a 31-2 record and the first No. 1 seed in program history.Gonzaga rolls into the NCAA tournament with a 31-2 record and the first No. 1 seed in program history.
    Gonzaga embarks on its first NCAA tournament as a No. 1 seed on Thursday at 1:10 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast on TBS with postgame press conferences streamed live on SWX TV and swxrightnow.com.>>
    Gonzaga embarks on its first NCAA tournament as a No. 1 seed on Thursday at 1:10 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast on TBS with postgame press conferences streamed live on SWX TV and swxrightnow.com.>>
  • UPDATE: Police Use Pepper Spray To End Standoff In North Spokane

    UPDATE: Police Use Pepper Spray To End Standoff In North Spokane

    Monday, April 11 2011 5:05 PM EDT2011-04-11 22:05:03 GMT
    KHQ.COM - There's new information on the pepper spray incident over the weekend involving the Spokane Police Dept.>>
    UPDATE: During the investigation into this weekend's standoff in the 5500 block of north Greenwood Blvd., witnesses told police 41-year-old James Vandyke made comments about "shooting it out with police" and "suicide by cop.">>
  • Cal Coburn Brown: Dead By Lethal Injection at 12:56 a.m.

    Cal Coburn Brown: Dead By Lethal Injection at 12:56 a.m.

    Friday, September 10 2010 12:26 PM EDT2010-09-10 17:26:50 GMT
    WALLA WALLA, Wash.- Cal Coburn Brown was declared dead by prison officials at 12:56 a.m. Friday morning.>>
    WALLA WALLA, Wash.- Cal Coburn Brown was declared dead by prison officials at 12:56 a.m. Friday morning. He was put to death by lethal injection for the 1991 murder of 24-year-old Holly Washa.  >>INSIDE: Report from Tom Durian who was in the execution chamber at the time of Coburn's death>>