Keep Your Loved One Safe from Wandering with Project Lifesaver

Submitted by June Pouliot, Client Services Coordinator with Alzheimer’s Family Services

Greetings! It was an eventful first week on my new job as Client Services Coordinator with Alzheimer’s Family Services. I am incredibly grateful to our staff and volunteers for their help and guidance, and I am excited about my new role. Having been a caregiver and a social worker for many years, this opportunity is both personally and professionally rewarding. At the end of my first week, I had the pleasure of attending one of our sponsored educational seminars. The topic was Project Lifesaver, presented by Jon Rhodes, the Assistant Director of Escambia Search And Rescue. The primary mission of Project Lifesaver is to provide timely response to save lives and reduce potential injury for adults and children who wander due to cognitive impairment. Many years ago, our loved ones who wandered were often found injured or deceased, days or even months after becoming lost. Project Lifesaver started in 1999 as a response to these tragic results. Today we have the technology to locate individuals within hours using simple radio transmission. Over 1,200 agencies in 46 states are currently using this technology with amazing success. To date, Project Lifesaver has rescued 2,540 individuals within an average search time of 30 minutes. Most important, everyone located has been found alive! Project Lifesaver transmitters are simple devices that are worn with a band. Some individuals wear them as they would a wristwatch or ankle band. They require a battery which needs to be checked daily and changed every 30 days. Transmitters and batteries are available without cost through Alzheimer’s Family Services, along with information about who to contact if your loved one becomes lost. Locally, we have a number of trained Project Lifesaver rescuers. The Escambia Search And Rescue Team has 13 Certified Electronic Search Specialists. The Sheriff’s Departments of Escambia (FL & AL), Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa counties also employ search specialists, some with Airborne Search training. When they are notified of a lost individual wearing a transmitter, a team is deployed to locate the person using a receiver and an antenna. If you are concerned about a loved one who wanders, please call Alzheimer’s Family Services at (850) 478-7790 to participate in this life saving program!

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