Woman with Diabetes Found Via Cell Phone GPS

More evidence of the impending use of the mobile phone as what we at SASLA call our “personal health portal”

FREEPORT – A 31-year-old woman was found lying deep in the woods around Black Creek Friday morning by emergency workers who tracked her through the GPS signals on her cell phone.

The woman, who is diabetic, was disoriented and beginning to show signs of dehydration, according to Freeport Fire Rescue Chief Ben Greenslait.

The heat index Friday was predicted to be 113.

“It would have taken us days to search without the proper equipment,” said Greenslait of the area that he estimated to be between 500 and 1,000 acres.

She had called 911 about 7:50 and said she was lost in the woods. She had some “personal problems,” and had left her house to clear her head.

Greenslait said the City of Freeport had spent $40,000 to equip their trucks with the computers that allowed them to track GPS coordinates.

The fire department launched a rescue boat and asked the Walton County Sheriff’s Office helicopter to help with the search. Two firemen and two deputies went into the woods on foot to search for her, using the GPS coordinates.

She was located at 8:54 a.m., just over an hour after she’d called for help.

Greenslait said that without the assistance of GPS, they would have had to divide the large area into grids and search each one.

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