Finding hope for those who get lost
by Karin L. Nauber
“Project Lifesaver is designed to provide comfort for the family while safely guarding the victim.” —Gene Saunders, CEO and Founder, Project Lifesaver International
So what is Project Lifesaver?
It is a public safety program which is designed to locate missing persons due to wandering.
It was established in April of 1999 as an initiative of the 43rd Search and Rescue Company of the Chesapeake (Virginia) Sheriff’s Office.
As the name implies, the search and rescue program is international in scope and is operated locally by public safety agencies.
In Todd County, that agency is the Todd County Sheriff’s Department.
The county became involved with Project Lifesaver in April of 2015.
Deputies Josh Winter and Lonnie Marcyes are certified as electronic search specialists/instructors.
The mission of Project Lifesaver is to use state of the art technology in assisting those who care for people who suffer from Alzheimer’s, dementia, autism, down syndrome or any other cognitive condition that causes the sufferer to wander.
Since its inception, they have rescued 3309 people with the most recent on record being found on June 22 of this year. It was a person suffering from schizophrenia.
They were found in nine hours and 57 minutes.
The average time to find someone, however, is under 30 minutes.
“The primary mission of Project Lifesaver is to provide timely response to save lives and reduce potential injury for adults and children with the propensity to wander due to a cognitive condition,” according to Project Lifesaver’s website at: www.projectlifesaver.org.