Project Lifesaver comes to Kootenai County
Project Lifesaver: Do you know someone who tends to wander if not watched? Caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s or dementia face a disturbing future as according to the Alzheimer’s Association, 40% of those afflicted will begin to wander. Nearly half will die and many become injured if they are not located within 24 hours. Autism is the nation’s fastest growing developmental disorder. Today’s statistics show that 1 in 110 children have autism. As a caregiver or parent, you know it only takes a second for them to disappear.
About Project Lifesaver
The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office has brought the Project Lifesaver program to its service area. Designed to track and rescue individuals with cognitive conditions, the service answers a critical need for protecting people at risk for wandering, including those with Alzheimer’s, Autism, Down Syndrome and Dementia.
Project Lifesaver International, the leading organization in electronic search and rescue (SAR) programs, conducts mandatory training and provides certification, ongoing management and support to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office. The training includes teaching public safety officials how to use the equipment and how to gain the trust of and communicate with people who wander, as well as to ensure that caregivers are well versed in the program. All of which are essential to a successful rescue.
Project Lifesaver also develops public outreach programs to educate others about the issue of wandering, and they constantly work toward developing public policy and effective law enforcement response to help save lives and “bring loved ones home.”
How Does Project Lifesaver Work?
Unlike other rather costly personal security systems, Project Lifesaver is not GPS or satellite based. Clients enrolled in the service will wear a wrist-watch sized radio transmitter on their wrist or ankle. The transmitter constantly emits a radio frequency signal, which can be tracked regardless of where the person has wandered, even into a densely wooded area, a marsh, a concrete structure such as a garage, or a building constructed with steel.
When someone goes missing, caregivers call 911 and the appropriate locally trained law enforcement agency is dispatched to the area. The average rescue time is approximately a half hour.
How Can You Help?
Engaging in Project Lifesaver is a not for profit endeavor for the Kootenai County Sheriff and a wonderful way to help families whose loved ones may wander.
Donations for this very worthwhile and lifesaving service are requested. Funds go specifically to the purchase of the wrist band transmitters, which are essentially “on loan” to the family for as long as needed, then returned and given to the next family in need. All other costs involved in the program are absorbed by the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office. Your family may not need this service now, or ever, but you can help a family who does have a child or adult who wanders by donating.
For more information or to donate, please call the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office at 208-446-2250