Bringing your loved ones home again
Project Lifesaver is a search-and-rescue program designed for at-risk individuals who are prone to the life-threatening behavior of wandering. The primary mission of Project Lifesaver is to provide timely response to save lives and reduce potential injury for adults and children with the propensity to wander due to a cognitive condition.
Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with Project Lifesaver since 2012 and currently has 26 residents enrolled in the program.
The program is free to enrollees in Beaufort County and is funded through donations from the community.
Project Lifesaver is a nonprofit community-based and internationally- recognized organization that was founded in 1999 in Chesapeake, Va.
The necessity of this program was determined through the correlation between cognitive conditions and the act of wandering.
With the dramatic increase of cognitive conditions in the past 20 years, the program has been recognized as an effective method of “bringing loved ones home.”
The program combines state-of-the-art locating technologies, innovative search-and-rescue methods, and community-policing courses that educates first-responders about cognitive conditions.
The search times for certified Project Lifesaver agencies have been reduced from hours — and sometimes even days — to an average of 30 minutes.
Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office deputies assigned to Project Lifesaver are trained and certified in the program’s technology and search methods, as well as common behaviors associated with Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia-related disorders, autism, Down syndrome and brain injury.
Project Lifesaver enrollees are outfitted with a wristband that transmits an assigned frequency.
Each month, certified Project Lifesaver personnel at the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office perform checks on client wristbands to ensure they are working properly.
If the enrollee goes missing, deputies will use tracking technology to locate the individual.
The Sheriff’s Office’s Air Unit and K-9 and Bloodhound tracking teams may also be deployed in a search.
Anyone with have a tendency to wander as a result of Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia-related disorders, autism, Down syndrome or a brain injury.
The program is open to adults and children.
The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Project Lifesaver program is funded by community donations and provided to enrollees for free.
A single wristband costs $297.90, not including monthly battery changes or factoring in staff time, training and equipment.
To get on the waiting list for a wristband, contact 843-524-2777 and ask to speak to a deputy about Project Lifesaver.
As part of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Project Lifesaver program, caregivers agree to check the enrollee’s wristband battery at least once a day and fill out a daily log-in sheet.
The caregiver also agrees to contact the Sheriff’s Office immediately in the event that their client or loved one goes missing.