Project Lifesaver: Program aimed at 'bringing loved ones home' comes to Monroe County

March 04, 2019 05:39 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- A program aimed at 'bringing loved ones home' is coming to Monroe County. 

Project Lifesaver is a program designed to protect and, if necessary, locate individuals with cognitive disorders who are prone to wander. 
It is operated by public service agencies. 

Those that are enrolled in the program wear a small transmitter on their wrist or ankle that transmits an individualized frequency signal. If that person goes missing, a caregiver notifies their local Project Lifesaver agency, and an emergency team responds to the wanderer's area. 

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office worked in collaboration with AutismUp, the Alzheimer’s Association, and Mary Cariola Children’s Center to get this program up and running in the area. 

Sgt. Peter Zambuto explained its more than just learning about how the device works; its also understanding cognitive challenges.

“Part of the training we’re going to roll out is to partner with AutismUp and other organizations so they can train us on what to expect when we find someone who may have autism. What do we do when we find someone, are they afraid of law enforcement, of dogs?” he said, explaining that way they know to pull the K9 unit away from the scene or to approach the missing person differently.

The program isn’t only for children, it’s also for adults with dementia and Alzheimer’s. 

“With programs like Project Lifesaver, we can assist families to have their loved ones age in place longer,” explained Teresa Galbier the CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Other area sheriff’s offices already have the program in place.

The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office has 16 people enrolled in Project Lifesaver, utilizing the system on six occasions in order to locate people.

The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office also reports successful rescues with the program.

For frequently asked questions about Project Lifesaver, click here.

For more about the program, click here.


Stephanie Robusto

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