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Set 11/22/2014 11:16 pm


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Project LifeSaver

Project Lifesaver

Sheriff Tim Rogers is proud to announce the implementation of an innovative search and rescue program that can help protect some of the most vulnerable citizens of our County. Called Project Lifesaver, it is a rapid search and rescue response program that aids victims and families suffering from Alzheimer's disease and other related disorders such as Down Syndrome and Autism, who become lost.

Individuals, who participate in Project Lifesaver, will be given personalized wristbands that emit a tracking signal. When a caregiver contacts 911 stating that their loved one has wandered away or is missing, our trained personnel will utilize a tracking device that allows us to locate the missing individual quickly.

Using grant monies, the Area Agency on Aging - Region 9 purchased the tracking equipment and twelve wristbands for our County. This program is being used throughout the Country and has already successfully located over 1,600 individuals.

Best of all there is NO COST for those utilizing Project Lifesaver. Funding for Project Lifesaver is a result of private and corporate donations and grants. All of the proceeds are used directly for programs, rescues, and educational expenses. While the cost is free, those wishing to make donations to Project Lifesaver to help ensure the program continues may do so by contacting our office.

Over 5,000,000 people in the US have Alzheimer's. That number will grow to 15 million by 2030.Well over 50% of these people wander and become lost. A lost person with Alzheimer's or other dementia represents a critical emergency. They are unaware of their situation; they do not call out for help and do not respond to people calling out to them. Nearly half of them will die and many can become injured or fall victim to predators if they are not located within 24 hours.

Project Lifesaver is a non profit organization and has become internationally recognized as an aggressive and proven program that saves lives. At this time there are over 440 agencies that have implemented Project Lifesaver. The program started with one agency in 1999, increasing to 22 by 2001, then to 230 by 2004. By the end of this year the program should reach 640 agencies. The projected growth may surpass 1,500 agencies by 2010. To this date there have been over 1600 rescues with a 100% success rate. There have been no deaths and no overnight hospital stays. The average time of rescue is less than 30 minutes. This would be from the time the rescue agency was called to the time of rescue. No other organization has that kind of record.

History

Project Lifesaver was established in April of 1999 as an initiative of the 43rd Virginia Search and Rescue Company of the Chesapeake, Virginia Sheriff's Office. Project Lifesaver is built on the work of the Stokes (NC) Mountain Rescue program which pioneered the use of special equipment and procedures to locate lost and wandering patients with mental disorders. Amid the dramatic increase of people with Alzheimer's, Down Syndrome and Autism, Project Lifesaver has become on of the leading organizations addressing the need to protect these patients and bring comfort to their families and caregivers.

Project Lifesaver is an innovative solution to the wandering issues surrounding Alzheimer's disease. Prior to the Project Lifesaver program there was not an effective search program that helped locate missing Alzheimer's patients. The only program that was available to deal with people with the problem was simply a registry program were as the patient wore a bracelet with a 1-800 number on it. The problem with this program was the patient had to be located before they could be taken home to their families. Many searches across the country ended sadly because the patient could not be located in time. The difference in a registry program and Project Lifesaver is we are an active search participant. We go out and search for the loved one and bring them home. Project Lifesaver trains, equips and deploys law enforcement and public safety agencies to rapidly locate wandering people and bring them home. Project Lifesaver's radio frequency equipment is the most reliable and practical technology available in locating the missing and wandering. Our assessment of Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment is that in an emergency search situation, it is less durable, the battery has to be changed to frequently , it is bulky to be worn, can fail in bad weather and it signal is often undetected indoors, under trees and in many areas that block sunlight. Project Lifesaver transmitters can be detected in bad weather, indoors, rough terrain and even under water.

How Project Lifesaver Works

Project Lifesaver relies on proven radio technology and a special trained search and rescue team. A team consists of 2 officers but can be done with 1. Clients wear a wristband with a transmitter that emits a tracking signal. Each transmitter has it own frequency that is on file with the search team and the family of the client. Each transmitter weighs about an ounce and emits a signal every second, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The transmitter battery is changed every 30 days by a team member. A caretaker is trained how to check the battery every day and logged.

Cost per client per month is around $15 for maintenance, but due to the generosity of local businesses and individuals the cost has been waived. Donations are being accepted to keep this program in operation.

How Does Someone Get Enrolled?

Any citizen wishing to have a family member or loved one considered for the program
should please contact Sgt. Charlie George at:

Coshocton County Sheriff's Office
328 Chestnut St.
Coshocton, Ohio 43812
(740) 622-2411
(740) 622-4487 fax