Project Lifesaver Promotes Rescue of Individuals
By Pamela D. Wilson, CSA, MS, BS/BA, CG
Project Lifesaver is a national program that supports rescue efforts for individuals with Alzheimer’s and related disorders that become lost. The program was originally established in 1999 by 43rd Virginia Search and Rescue Company of the Chesapeake Virginia Sheriff’s Office. It continues the initiative of the Stokes County North Carolina Mountain Rescue program which pioneered the use of special equipment to locate lost and wandering patients with mental disorders.
The program provides radio signal transmitter bracelets (that if worn) will allow law enforcement officers to locate individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease, Down’s Syndrome, Autism and other related disorders reported as missing. This is not a registry program like the safe return bracelet. This means that individuals reported lost can be located by electronic means versus relying on an individual to call and report an individual they have found wandering.
Each transmitter has its own radio frequency that emits twenty four hours a day. The signal is tracked on the ground or by air. According to the project statistics, in over 1,000 searches there have been no reported serious injuries or deaths and most individuals are located within 30 minutes of being reported missing. The bracelet battery must be changed every 30-45 days.
Project lifesaver teams also receive special training in search and rescue and in methods to communicate with individuals with Alzheimer’s and related disorders. Call 1-877-580-LIFE(5433) for more information or visit the Project Lifesaver website.
© 2012, 2013 Pamela D. Wilson, All Rights Reserved
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