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Safety Trackers Legislation Heard on Beacon Hill

Jul 18, 2017 05:24PM ● By Catie Riordan

It was a busy day at the State House for Rep. Colleen Garry, D-Dracut, who testified on a bill generated by herself and her constituents. 

Garry spoke to the Financial Services committee about her House Bill 2955, a bill requesting mandatory insurance coverage for tracking devices for those individuals living with autism, dementia, or Alzheimer’s. 

The bill was born when Kathryn Lucier, a 75 year old Dracut woman, who had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s went missing in late October 2016.  The Dracut Police and many other law enforcement agencies searched for Lucier tirelessly without result. Representative Garry organized search parties and worked with the police hoping that the increase in manpower would aid the search. 

On the third day of the search, one of Garry’s search parties did indeed find Lucier near a boat at the rear of 248 Pleasant St. in critical condition because of her exposure to the elements. After three days of searching, with temperatures that went down to 30 degrees, Lucier being found alive was a miracle. Lucier stayed strong and was able to recover after two months of rehab. 

Garry is hoping that this legislation will pass, requiring mandatory insurance coverage of tracking devices for individuals in need. Until then, Dracut Volunteers, Inc. is holding car washes, bake sales, raffles, selling flags at July 4th, and more in an effort to purchase some trackers for residents in need.

Safety net trackers run on radio frequency and can track an individual from a helicopter through a building and even below ground. A loved one who can’t help but wander off could be found within 20 minutes instead of three days, drastically increasing the chance of arriving home safe and sound. In addition to the benefit of those individuals involved, it would benefit the local communities with lessened search expenses and the health care system with less medical services required. 

Senate Chair Jamie Eldridge was impressed by the efforts of Garry stating, “Representative you are always there for your constituents but you certainly went above and beyond in this case, especially for Ms.Lucier”.

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