Project Lifesaver Releases Top Rescue and Milestones of 2010
Effectively Demonstrating the Success of Radio Frequency Technology in Helping Find Those with Cognitive Conditions Who Wander
January 3, 2011, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida – Project Lifesaver International, a non-profit organization that provides public safety agencies with equipment and training to quickly locate and rescue those with cognitive disorders who wander, today released their Top Milestones and Rescues of 2010. Currently, over 1,200 fire departments, police departments, sheriff’s offices, and EMS providers are members of Project Lifesaver International.
According to experts, nearly 60% of those with Alzheimer’s disease will wander at some point from the safety of their homes. In addition to this, many of these individuals will wander over and over again. In a recent National Autism Association survey, almost 92% of parents felt their autistic child was at risk of wandering from their care. Because of these alarming statistics, Project Lifesaver International was formed in 1999 to address this growing problem of wandering.
Public safety agencies participating on the program undergo extensive trainings and obtain radio frequency technology to locate those who go missing quickly and safely. Individuals enrolled in each community are provided with a radio transmitter, and should they become lost, agencies use this technology to hone in on a signal and identify the person’s exact location. To date, Project Lifesaver agencies have successfully located nearly 2,300 missing people, with no serious injuries or fatalities ever reported.
Top Rescue of 2010
On November 7, 2010, an 18-year old boy with Down syndrome wandered from his home in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. According to reports, this area is highly populated; with a large river flowing two miles from the boy’s point of last seen. Project Lifesaver units quickly took action after the boy was reported missing, and a helicopter unit was dispatched to the air. Officers received weak signals intermittently from the radio frequency tracking equipment, and following the hits, ground units were dispatched to different places where the signals were heard. The boy was found a short time later, entangled in roots and vines about halfway down a 40-foot high riverbank cliff. Officers climbed up the riverbank to rescue the boy, who was then driven to the hospital for observation and released the following day in good condition. Authorities believe, had the boy not been wearing a Project Lifesaver bracelet, he would not have been found in time.
Top Milestones of 2010
US Department of Justice – Office of Justice Programs – Bureau of Justice Assistance - Project Lifesaver was awarded the 2010/2011 continuation of the Missing Alzheimer’s Disease Replication Initiative, which effectively supports new agencies joining Project Lifesaver, and provides free tracking bracelets to families in need. This past year, the grant helped fund 100 new Project Lifesaver agencies and over 1,500 bracelets to individuals who wander.
2010 Caregiver Friendly Award – Project Lifesaver received top recognition from Today’s Caregiver magazine and Caregiver.com. According to Gary Barg, Today’s Caregiver magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, “This award is designed to help family caregivers recognize and reward those organizations who will care for them in as committed a manner as they care for their loved ones.”
Grand Opening of New Office in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Project Lifesaver opened a new office in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. This office houses the new Directorate/Development division of Project Lifesaver International, and will be responsible for promoting the program internationally, as well as increasing awareness of Project Lifesaver in the state of Florida.
Creation of ‘Lifesaver Angels’ program. In an effort to assist families and caregivers with their loved ones who wander, Project Lifesaver launched a new “Lifesaver Angels” program which enables an individual, business, or corporation to “adopt” a participant, agency, or even a country who wants to participate in Project Lifesaver, but who cannot, under normal circumstances, afford the program on their own.
Xanboo Joins Forces with Project Lifesaver. Xanboo, a wireless, equipment company that supplies a wide variety of intrusion and security products, including indoor and outdoor cameras, control of lighting, door/window censors, and other security products, joined forces with Project Lifesaver. Together, Project Lifesaver and Xanboo offer the most comprehensive, total security solution available to families and medical facilities nationwide dedicated to helping locate those with cognitive conditions who wander.
In addition to these ground breaking milestones, Project Lifesaver continues to look at emerging technologies, programs, grants and other opportunities that will help those with cognitive disorders at risk of wandering.
“By continuing to work with leading organizations in this field, including the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, the National Autism Association, the National Sheriff’s Association, as well as other premier associations, Project Lifesaver will continue to offer effective technology, valuable training, and a wealth of resources to public safety agencies and the families they serve. I look forward to 2011 and what we will accomplish,” said Gene Saunders, CEO and Founder of Project Lifesaver International.
ABOUT PROJECT LIFESAVER
Project Lifesaver International is a non-profit organization that helps find individuals with medical tendencies to wander, including those with Alzheimer’s disease, autism, Down syndrome, dementia, and related conditions. To date, over 1,200 agencies participate in the program covering 45 states, DC, Canada and Australia. For more information, please visit www.projectlifesaver.org.