Madison County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to announce the implementation of a new program called Project Lifesaver. Project Lifesaver is a search and rescue, rapid recovery program that targets persons enrolled in the program that have the tendency to wander due to Alzheimer’s, Autism, Dementia and other age macular degeneration (ARMD) related conditions or disorders.
Project Lifesaver deploys radio technology to locate, rescue and return to home missing persons enrolled in the program. Watch a brief clip of how Project Lifesaver works.
Each client enrolled in the Project Lifesaver Program wears a personalized wristband transmitter that emits a tracking radio signal 24 hours a day / seven days a week. Each wristband has a separate and unique radio frequency.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office has five members that have been trained and certified as instructors and operators of the search and rescue radio equipment in the event a client wanders and the Sheriff’s Office is alerted. Training was provided by designated Project Lifesaver trainers with the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office.
In addition to members attending the training for equipment and instructor certification, they also received training in the methods necessary to communicate with a person inflicted with Alzheimer’s, Dementia or a related disorder. Wanderers, when confronted, often will be disoriented, anxious and suspicious. The trained members of the Sheriff’s Office have been instructed on the most appropriate manner to approach the found wanderer, how to gain their trust and how to put them at ease for their return trip back home.
The Sheriff’s Office has two Project Lifesaver receivers that have the capability of being used by hand during a foot search as well as from a patrol vehicle mounted antenna in the event a vehicle search of a wider area is required. One unit is located in the Morrisville Field Office and the other is located at the Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Building located in Wampsville.
Neighboring Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office has their aviation unit helicopter equipped with Project Lifesaver locating equipment capable of an aerial search support if needed. Neighboring Oneida County Sheriff’s Office also has the program.
The highest priority is to make a quick and safe recovery of an enrolled wanderer in the shortest time possible. In addition, this program can reduce the time and cost of a traditional search from hours to minutes. Nationally, the average recovery of clients enrolled in this program is about 30 minutes.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office is now accepting applications from interested caregivers or families of loved ones that they may want to enroll into this program. There are affordable costs and monthly battery fees that will be explained when an interested party inquires. The entire program is non-profit.
If you would like to learn more about this program or make a donation, please contact Sergeant Dufek at (315) 366-2587. If there is a person you believe may benefit from this program, fill out our online form and a qualified Project Lifesaver member of the Sheriff’s Office will contact you if a return number is provided.