The Accomack County Sheriff’s office has announced that Project Lifesaver is being brought to the county. Sheriff Todd Godwin made the announcement Friday. Designed to track and rescue those with cognitive conditions who tend to wander, this service answers a critical need for protecting people at risk of wandering, including those with Alzheimer’s, Autism, Down Syndrome and Dementia.
Project Lifesaver International is the leading organization in electronic search and rescue programs. 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 the Accomack County Sheriff’s Office and deputies are dispatched to the wanderer’s area and the average rescue time is approximately 30 minutes. Air support services are available if necessary.
The Accomack County Sheriff’s Office has developed a public outreach program to educate others about the issue of wandering, and they are constantly working toward developing public policy and effective law enforcement response to help save lives and “bring loved ones home.”
This service will be available on May 1. Families and caregivers can enroll their loved ones by contacting Agency Coordinator, Captain Todd Wessells at 757-787-1131.