The basic concept of Project Lifesaver started in North Carolina with the Stokes County Mountain Rescue Team. Searches before the Project Lifesaver concept were taking over 9 hours, after Project Lifesaver was developed the recovery times were averaging under 30 minutes. Project Lifesaver is the only current organization officially orgainzed to train Public Safety Agencies to electronically locate lost people. The 43rd Virginia Search and Rescue Team in Chesapeake, Virginia officially formalized Public Safety training procedures and officially started Project Lifesaver in April, 1999.
10% of the population over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s Disease and approximately 50% of the population aged 85 and older have the disease. It is estimated that 36,000 Alzheimer’s patients walk away from private homes and professional care facilities each year. Of those affected with this disease, close to 59% will develop the wandering tendency. Alzheimer’s Disease destroys short-term memory while keeping long-term memory in tact. Most people that are stricken with Alzheimers live at home.
To learn more about Alzheimer’s Disease please visit www.alz.org.
Sheriff Jay Jones is pleased to announce that Project Lifesaver has come to Lee County. With help from the Pilot Clubs of Opelika and Lee County, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office is now able to offer Project Lifesaver to the citizens of Lee County.
What is Project Lifesaver? This is a program designed to assist law enforcement agencies in locating wandering persons. The program was first designed to assist agencies that were spending many man hours trying to locate persons who were suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and had wandered off from their caregivers. Project Lifesaver has now expanded to include those persons suffering from Autism, Dementia, Mental Retardation or any Brain-Related disorder. Through the use of modern technology, participating agencies are now able to speed up the recovery time for those persons affected.
What are the Costs?
The transmitter costs $300.00 and this includes the tester used to test the signal each day.
New batteries cost $10.00 and must be replaced each month, a member of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office will travel to your location to replace the battery each month and to inspect the equipment. The caregiver must be present during this time so that any problems encountered can be addressed.
It shall be understood that although the transmitters are purchased by and for the person(s) enrolled in the program that they remain the property of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and if for any reason it is determined that a person no longer needs to be enrolled in the program, the transmitter shall be returned to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and may be issued to another individual at that time.
For those persons unable to afford the cost of the equipment some scholarships may be available that will help offset the costs. Information concerning these scholarships may be obtained through the Lee County Sheriff’s Office by contacting Captain James Majors @ 334-737-3562.
Each person accepted into the program will be required to fill out a profile, this profile is kept extremely confidential but can be very helpful in case a person becomes missing. You can download a copy of the profile here. The profile is 5 pages long and is in a zipped file, it may take a few minutes to download.
How it Works
Each person accepted into the program is issued a small transmitter device that is worn on the wrist or ankle. Each transmitter has a specific frequency and is designated to a particular person. The transmitter is powered by a small battery and when put together looks like a watch and is about the same size. When the Sheriff’s Office is notified that a person wearing a transmitter is missing, specially trained deputies are dispatched to the area and begin the search. These deputies have all been through the certification class and are qualified to use the equipment. The deputies are outfitted with radio receivers that are able to pick up the signal being transmitted by the transmitter worn by the missing person. Once the signal is established, the deputies are able to narrow the search until the person is located.
Each transmitter has a range of approximately 1 mile, depending on the terrain. It does not matter if a person has wandered into a building or is not visible from the air, the transmitter will continue to emit a signal. If a signal cannot be established from the beginning point then the search area is enlarged, the receivers can be placed in vehicles or in an aircraft to help broaden the search area.
In order for a person to be excepted into the program there must be a responsible person available (caregiver) that will agree to the following:
1. The transmitter must be checked each day to make sure that it is functioning properly and a log maintained showing that these checks have been made.
2. Ensure to the best of their ability that the person enrolled in the program wears the transmitter.
3. Will notify the Lee County Sheriff’s Office immediately if/when the person enrolled in the program is missing.
4. Sign a contract detailing the program.
5. Purchase the transmitter at a cost of $300.00 (this includes the price of the tester) and pay a monthly fee of $10.00 to cover the cost of the battery replacement which is done once a month.
6. Understand that the Project Lifesaver program does not replace the need for constant supervised care of the person enrolled.
Contact and Brochure
If you have any questions or need assistance with joining Project Lifesaver please feel free to give us a call. Captain James Majors is the project coordinator and he can be reached at 334-737-7101 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. If Captain Majors is unavailable please call 334-749-5651 and you will be directed to someone who can help you.