The water-resistant device, called SentryPal, notifies Wh Security, which has trained and certified personnel on hand around the clock to respond to alerts. SentryPal has nationwide coverage that the user can use to directly communicate with a dispatcher.

“Wh gets a ping for the nearest PSAP (Public Service Answering Point),” said Chris Walsh, Stone’s Mobile Radio security manager.

The GPS provides latitude and longitude to the central station, which has the ability to see the location history of SentryPal. SentryPal, a two-way pendant that is powered with cellular and GPS technology, can be used either for emergency or non-emergency situations, Walsh said.

For example, if someone falls and needs an ambulance, they can press the SentryPal button and ask the dispatcher to send one to them. But, if the person who fell isn’t injured, but just wants someone they know to come and check on them, he or she can ask the dispatcher to contact that person.

The SentryPal has GPS tracking so it also can be used to find people who have wandered away from where they’re supposed to be, Walsh said.

“The location can be ‘pinged,’” he said.

People who have gotten off-course also can use the SentryPal to contact a dispatcher.

“There is a lot of flexibility and a lot of options with it,” Walsh said. Another feature SentryPal is that it has fall detection, so if the device has been sitting vertical and suddenly is horizontal, it will send a signal to the dispatcher.

The SentryPal is small, lightweight and can be worn around the neck like a pendant, on the wrist or clipped to a belt, Walsh said.

“It’s easy to use because it only requires the push of a button.”

That makes it simpler for some people to use the SentryPal than it does for them to use a cell phone, he said.

“This is a single-push communication,” Walsh said. “You just hold the button down a couple of seconds, and you get can get someone.” That’s in contrast to a cell phone, which the person has to first find, and then search for contacts, he noted.

Meanwhile, SentyPal has a two-way speaker system so it provides clear two-way voice communication.

It takes a minimal amount of time to buy a SentryPal and get it activated, which includes putting in primary and secondary contacts, such as a relative or a neighbor, who can be reached in case of an emergency.

SentryPal, which is battery-operated, lasts about three days before it needs to be recharged.

The SentryPal costs $249 to purchase the device which the buyer owns. There also is a plan cost. Customers initially sign up for a six-month plan, then it is month-to-month, Walsh said.

“We don’t want anyone to feel like they are locked into a plan,” he said.