Contact: Amy J. Glover, Lieutenant
Community Services Division
Location: Georgetown County Sheriffs Office
430 N. Fraser St.
Georgetown, SC 29440
Click on the link below for a Project Lifesaver Application:
Project Lifesaver is the only organization that is allowed to electronically track human beings. It was designed to protect our "at risk wanderers" who suffer from Alzheimer's, children of Autism and those with Down Syndrome and other brain disorders which may lead them to wander. The concept came from King North Carolina at the Stokes County Mountain Rescue where they were providing hikers and campers who entered the State Park a transmitter in case they got lost while on their travels within the park. The Rescue service would collect the transmitters from the guests when they left the park. Project Lifesaver adopted this idea, and with the Federal Government stating Project Lifesaver could electronically track "at risk wanderers", Project Lifesaver was born.
Today, Project Lifesaver has conducted over 1,600 searches with a 100% recovery rate. A normal search would take Law Enforcement an estimated 9 hours at $1,500 per hour per search and sometimes using hundreds of officers and volunteers. With those costs and time frames, recovery rates were low and agencies were depleting their budgets with these costly searches. With Project Lifesaver, the search time is dramatically decreased to an estimated 30 minutes per search, with using about 10 officers total for the whole operation.
The concept is very simple. A caregiver would call the Georgetown County Sheriff's Office and lets them know they are interested in enrolling their loved one in the program. GCSO would send out one of their techs and make a home visit. There, the caregiver would receive the paperwork on the program and would be advised of the conditions of the program. If the caregiver/loved one are accepted to the program, they will receive a transmitter for their loved one. Each transmitter costs a one time fee of $300 and the band and batteries are changed every 30 days by a trained officer. The cost of the battery and band are about $20 a month. If a client wanders off from their caregiver, the caregiver will call a predetermined number from the program and activate Project Lifesaver. Responding officers will use their training, equipment and knowledge of the program to bring that loved one home.
All required paperwork, contracts, doctor exams and follow ups have to be completed before a client is admitted into the program. If a client fails to follow the conditions of the program, they can be removed from the program.
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 Alzheimer's, autism, and other related cognitive conditions.
- Currently 5.2 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's with as many as 16 million cases expected by 2050.
Wandering, the most life-threatening behavior associated with Alzheimer's, affects 59 percent of patients and 45 percent of those cases end tragically in death if the person is not located within 24 hours.
Autism, which is the fastest growing developmental disability that now afflicts one in every 110 children, can also cause children to wander.
Project Lifesaver International (PLI) is a non-profit organization that since 1999 has developed a network of more than 1,000 law enforcement and other public safety agencies nationwide, which have been trained and certified in the use of electronic search and rescue technology.
The task of searching for wandering or lost individuals with Alzheimer's, autism, Down syndrome, dementia or other cognitive conditions is a growing and serious responsibility. Without effective procedures and equipment, searches can involve multiple agencies, hundreds of officers, countless man hours and thousands of dollars. More importantly, because time is of the essence, every minute lost increases the risk of a tragic outcome.
Working hand in hand with trained law enforcement and other public safety agencies, Project Lifesaver will help you save time, money and most importantly, your loved ones.
Currently, over 1,100 agencies - police, sheriff, fire, public safety departments and other emergency responders - in 45 states, D.C., Canada and Australia participate. The method relies on proven Radio Frequency technology and specially trained search and rescue teams.
Project Lifesaver Program:
Project Lifesaver International provides in-depth training for law enforcement and other public safety agencies on the use of specialized electronic search and rescue equipment, technology and procedures, as well as teaching rescuers how to communicate with people afflicted with cognitive conditions, all of which are essential to the successful rescue of missing persons who wander or otherwise become lost. They certify search and rescue personnel and provide ongoing management to participating agencies.
In addition, Project Lifesaver 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."
Training for a new agency includes two days of on-site instruction for up to 15 people in each new agency, provided by a State Coordinator (a law enforcement professional certified by PLI to train others) or by PLI's own staff.
PLI also provides one-day training for up to six officers to be trained as instructors and re-certify staff every two years.
Each new agency will also receive training on Alzheimer's disease and autism, as well as other conditions, to help when responding to a missing client.
Project Lifesaver ensures all agencies receive updated information on equipment, training, supplies, and marketing materials to continue their program in their communities and help surrounding agencies come on board.
Project Lifesaver, as a non-profit organization, continually works with federal, state, and local governments to apply for grants and develop public outreach programs for communities throughout the United States.
Project Lifesaver is endorsed by the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, the National Sheriff's Association, Pilot International, and many other organizations.
Project Lifesaver helps develop educational materials targeted at families and caregivers of wanderers, participates in numerous conferences and speaking engagement each year to spread the word about the service, and works with national organizations on an ongoing basis to help develop public policy.
Down Syndrome Facts