What is Wandatrak?
The Wandatrak System is used around the country by Land Search and Rescue (LandSAR) and NZ Police to detect people living with a cognitive impairment who are at risk of going missing. However, it can be used for other groups of people where there is a need.
How does it work?
The system is comprised of a Wandatrak device which can either be worn around the neck (pendant), on the wrist or it can be attached to a keyring or any other item that the person never leaves home without. The device emits a pulse using a specific frequency which is detected using a Radio Tracking Unit and a Directional Finding Aerial. The pulse strengthens as the tracking unit approaches the device. Please note the person is not being constantly “tracked”. They are only searched for when they are in a missing situation.
When called, Search and Rescue will drive to the point last seen and grid the area until the signal is picked up. Note: The pendant has the strongest signal (as the aerial is in the cord) and can be tracked from approximately 1km away on flat ground. The other types of devices have a lesser range of approximately 500m. If no signal can be heard than they will need to go to higher ground where it is easier to locate the signal from the device.
How much does it cost?
The real cost of a device delivered is $350.00 However, through fundraising we run a Device bank whereby devices are available on loan to any person that is at risk. Donations for this service are always gratefully received. Once devices are no longer needed they are returned to WanderSearch Canterbury to be reissued.
Battery refurbishments which are required every six months and cost $55.00.
What are the benefits?
The benefits of the Wandatrak system include giving peace of mind to families and reducing stress for the missing person. The battery lasts for 6 months so it can be worn all the time and the person gets used to wearing it. It also reduces the resources required by LandSAR and Police when searching for the missing person saving our country precious dollars.