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Sheriff introduces Project Lifesaver

Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 10:55 am

Staff Reports

Westmoreland County Sheriffs Office announced that they are bringing the Project Lifesaver program to Westmoreland  County. Designed to track and rescue those with cognitive conditions who tend to wander, this service answers a critical need for protecting people including those with Alzheimer’s, autism, Down syndrome and dementia.  This program develops public outreach to educate others about the issues of wandering and constantly works toward developing public policy and effective law enforcement  response to help save lives and “bring loved ones home.”
Project Lifesaver International,  the leading organization in electronic search and rescue (SAR) programs, will conduct mandatory training and provide certification, ongoing management and support to Westmoreland  County Sheriffs Office. Their training includes teaching public safety officials how to use the equipment and how to gain the trust of and communicate with people who wander, as well as to ensure that caregivers are well versed in the program – all of which are essential to a successful rescue.
Clients enrolled in the service will wear a wrist-watch sized radio transmitter on their wrist or ankle.  The transmitter constantly emits a Radio Frequency signal, which can be tracked regardless of where the person has wandered-even into a densely wooded area, a marsh, a concrete structure such as a garage, or a building constructed with steel.  When a loved one goes missing, caregivers notify locally trained agencies and they are dispatched to the wanderer’s area and the average rescue time remains around 30 minutes.
I am extremely proud and excited to have this opportunity to partner with Project Lifesaver.  Our combined efforts will not only provide, but will enhance an invaluable service to ensure the safety of individuals who are highly vulnerable, stated Sheriff C.O. Balderson.
The equipment for this program has been obtained through the sheriffs office and receiving of grants through Project Lifesaver.  However, the supply of units is limited. Those individuals and/or businesses that would like to make a donation to this most worthy cause and for those families/caregivers  who want to enroll their loved ones in this program can do so by contacting Major John L. Hoover at (804) 493-8066 or email major@westcoso.us.  Further information about Project Lifesaver can be obtained at the above contact information  and at www.projectlifesaver.org.