WHAT IS PROJECT LIFESAVER?
Project Lifesaver has been implemented by the Sarasota Police Department to provide enhanced support and assistance to the families of individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia disorders as well as families with children afflicted with Down's syndrome, autism, traumatic brain injuries or cognitive impairments. These individuals might be prone to wander away from home and become confused or lost.
Participants in Project Lifesaver wear a special wrist bracelet equipped with a small transmitter which emits a signal that Law Enforcement officers can track when someone is reported missing. Search and recovery times have been reduced from days and hours, to minutes. This not only saves time and manpower but also gives caregivers and families peace of mind and reassurance that all possible resources will be utilized in an effort to locate and return their loved ones home safely. The average recovery times have been 30-minutes or less and tracking can be done from vehicles, vessels, on foot and by aircraft.
WHAT IS THE MISSION?
Project Lifesaver’s mission is to use state-of-the-art technology in searching for and rescuing persons with Alzheimer’s disease and other related disorders who become lost.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are more than 5 million people in the U.S. with Alzheimer’s. About 50% of them are prone to wander. According to public safety experts, a person with Alzheimer’s or other dementia represents a critical emergency, since more than half of them will become injured, fall victim to predators, the elements, or die if not found within 24-hours.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
People enrolled in the program wear a personalized bracelet that emits a tracking signal. When a care giver notifies 911 or the SPD that a person is missing, our search team responds to the wanderer’s area and starts searching with the mobile locator tracking system. This means tracking times have been reduced from hours and days to minutes. The bracelet is a one ounce battery operated radio transmitter emitting a tracking signal every second, 24 hours a day. The signal is tracked on the ground or in the air over several miles. Each bracelet has a unique radio frequency.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
Patients and/or caregivers pay an initial $275.00 for the use of the bracelet and $7.00 a month for maintenance and battery changing. Police Department, Private and Corporate sponsorships are available to help reduce the cost to patients that are not able to afford to participate in the program. The sponsorships will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
HOW DO I SIGN UP?
The primary legal family member/caregiver completes an Enrollment Application. Once the application has been submitted and approved an SPD representative contacts the family/caregiver to schedule a face to face interview and installation of the bracelet. A Project Lifesaver representative installs the bracelet and trains the family/caregiver on how the bracelet and the program works. The Project Lifesaver representative will then develop a schedule and trains the family/caregiver on doing routine maintenance.
Sarasota Police Officer Robbins
Project Lifesaver Coordinator