GREENSBORO, N.C. — Surry County first responders had two similar but unrelated calls in the past week that highlight the benefit of phone tracking technology.
On Friday night, a Mount Airy mother was worried when her 17-year-old daughter missed curfew and couldn’t be reached, according to Surry County Emergency Services Coordinator John Shelton. She used a tracking app on her phone to pinpoint her daughter’s location to Pilot Knob State Park Road in Pilot Mountain.
As the mom drove to that area, she called 911 and coordinated the location with first responders, said Shelton. When the woman got to the location, she found her daughter trapped under her vehicle, down a 25-foot embankment. First responders were able to remove the girl and get her to a hospital for treatment, according to Shelton, who said she's expected to be ok.
In a second incident, a Surry County man was having trouble getting a hold of his father Tuesday afternoon. Shelton said the son used a smartphone app the family had downloaded on all of their phones to track his father to a location on West Imogene Church Road in Mount Airy. When the son got to that location, he found his father, Bruce Dillard, 54, dead in a car crash, according to Shelton. Dillard’s vehicle went off the road and crashed into a shed.
The two crashes highlight the importance of tracking apps on smartphones. “Those apps that are accessible for free, the features are absolute life-saving features,” said Shelton.
It's important to note these apps won't work if the phone is off since the technology uses GPS signals to determine a location.
Also, contacts have to agree to share their location with you and vice-versa.
According to CNET, some of the best free apps include Glympse, Life360 Family Locator and Find My Friends.
The article also shares that Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile each have family tracking services you can add onto your plan.