Project Lifesaver will become a reality in Crawford County


BUCYRUS —Project Lifesaver is getting ready to start in Crawford County.

Project Lifesaver is a search-and-rescue program designed for at-risk individuals who are prone to wandering, such as those with dementia, Alzheimer’s, autism, and other cognitive conditions.

Those accepted into the program are issued a transmitting device unique to that individual. Sheriff Deputies are equipped with a receiver tracking device to aid in the search of individuals enrolled in the program if they wandered. They are tracked via the transmitter.

The Crawford County Sheriff’s Office is ready to accept applicants for the Project Lifesaver throughout the county.

The Crawford County Lions Clubs, which includes the Bucyrus, Colonel Crawford, and Crestline clubs, purchased the initial equipment to make Project Lifesaver possible in Crawford County.

Although the County Lions Clubs purchased the initial equipment there are minimal costs associated with being enrolled in the program.

There also are some eligibility requirements to enroll.

Individuals cannot enroll in the program if they are in a nursing home. They must be living at home with a caregiver and be under 24-hours-a-day care. Other criteria to enroll into the program include daily equipment checks by the caregiver, who also must accept responsibility to immediately report their loved one is missing.

That means law enforcement should be notified as soon as your loved one wanders away.

If you have questions about the program or are interested in enrolling a loved one, contact Major Chad Filliater at the Sheriff’s Office at 419-562-7906.

More information about Project Lifesaver can be found at www.projectlifesaver.org.

According to the website there are three key elements involved with Project Lifesaver that enable first responders to achieve the program’s mission of “bringing loved ones home.”

Cutting-edge locating technology: Project Lifesaver is in a constant state of research and development to ensure the latest and most effective technologies are being utilized by the program both in the prevention of wandering and the recovery of a client in the event of elopement.

Innovative SAR methods and techniques: Project Lifesaver has strategically designed methods and techniques for the specific use of recovering individuals with a cognitive condition. When applied by first responders these innovative strategies enable the most efficient rescue of an eloped client.

Community policing courses: Project Lifesaver provides first responders with a basic understanding of cognitive conditions, giving them the necessary tools needed to respond to an elopement, and to assess and effectively manage the safe and comfortable return of an eloped client.

Staff report