Project Lifesaver Serves Citizens of LaSalle Parish
Project Lifesaver, a public safety program designed to protect and locate missing persons prone to wandering, is a service provided by the LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office. The program was initiated last year by Sheriff Scott Franklin with Detective Richard Smith serving as coordinator of the program.
Project Lifesaver is designed to provide a safety net for the most vulnerable individuals; those with Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Autism, Down syndrome and other cognitive conditions that could cause wandering. Each, at risk, individual is provided with a small electronic bracelet that emits a unique radio signal 24 hours a day. When an individual wanders, a call to 911 triggers a rapid response by a trained team within the LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office and other local volunteer search and rescue teams. Using a mobile locator system, search crews are able to monitor the transmitter signal and locate the individual. The signal can be detected inside a building or outside, day or night, up to a mile away on the ground and 5-6 miles from the air.
Project Lifesaver forms partnerships with local law enforcement and public safety organizations. Project Lifesaver trains teams with the most reliable technology available to quickly locate and return wandering adults and children to their family members. Project Lifesaver emphasizes relationships between team members and at risk persons, before the need may arise for a rescue. Team members visit the home of the bracelet recipient to install the transmitter and change batteries monthly.
Locating the missing person is only a part of the mission. The person who is lost may be disoriented, anxious or untrusting. The Project Lifesaver team members know how to approach the person, gain their trust and put them at ease for the trip home.
Over five million people in the USA have Alzheimer’s or related disorders. Well over half of these people wander and become lost. A lost person with Alzheimer’s, Autism or other medical disorders represents a critical emergency. Nearly half of them will die and may become injured if they are not located within 24 hours.
Sheriff Franklin said, “If you have a loved one that may benefit from this lifesaving program, please contact Detective Smith with the LPSO at 992-2151 for more information.”