"Lifesaver Case" Would Have Helped Coral Springs Shooting Victim Call 911, She Says

Kate Ranta says a Lifesaver Case would have helped her call 911 after she was shot in Coral Springs. Creator Jon Powell also comments. (Published Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014)

In November 2012, a gunman fired shots through the front door of Kate Ranta’s Coral Springs townhouse. Ranta was hit twice but survived the shooting barrage, allegedly inflicted by her ex-husband.

“I called 911 from my cell phone but the operator couldn’t hear me and she also couldn’t locate me and I had to repeat my address multiple times,” Ranta said Wednesday, recalling the terror of that night.

Katherine Maffei said she thought that her estranged husband would kill her with a bullet to the head. She said he shot three times through the door as she and her father were trying to close it. (Published Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012)

That’s the precise type of emergency for which the new Lifesaver cell phone case is designed. Unlike using a landline, when you call 911 from a cell phone, the operator can’t see your location. But with a push and slide of a button, the Lifesaver Case sends GPS coordinates directly to the emergency dispatcher.

“If I had had a device like the Lifesaver Case, all I would’ve had to do was push down and slide the switch and my vital information would’ve gone directly to 911 and I wouldn’t even have had to say a word,” Ranta said.

Police say Katherine Maffei's estranged husband shot her and her father Friday night inside her home at Barrington Club in the 10500 block of West Sample Road. In a recording of her 911 call released on Wednesday, Maffei screams and begs a dispatcher for help. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012)

- 'I’m Dying,' Double Shooting Victim Tells Dispatcher in Coral Springs

“It allows you to call for help without flaring up the situation or alerting an attacker or a potential abductor,” explained Jon Powell, the creator of the Lifesaver Case.

The case is combined with a free app, in which you insert all of your relevant details: sex, age, health information. It’s all streamed automatically, along with your GPS location, to 911 if you activate it.

Powell and his company, Visionary Tech Group, are based in Cocoa Beach. He said he was inspired when a stranger tried to kidnap his 12-year-old daughter, a man trying to persuade the girl to get into his car.

“If it had been a situation where the abductor had physically grabbed her she would not have had time to report her location and it could’ve turned out much worse,” said Powell, thankful that his daughter got away.

The device isn’t available to the public yet. Powell said the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence has endorsed the product.

Lifesavercase.com is launching a crowdfunding campaign soon to generate presales, hoping a lot of people buy the device for $89, but that no one has to use it.