Project will help save lives

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 21, 2006

The tendency to wander is a behavior that poses a particular challenge to those who care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other type of dementia.

When an Alzheimer’s patient wanders from home, it can take an average of eight to nine hours for authorities to find the person.

This past week, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department began implementation of Project Lifesaver, a program that can reduce the search time to an average of 30 minutes. And that reduction in search time can save a life.

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Officers received a Basic Operations Course to help in the use of the transmitters, receivers and tracking devices.

The equipment and training is funded by donations from churches, civic groups, businesses and individuals.

Steve Tidwell, director of E-911, will direct the program.

Sheriff Harris Huffman, who has been a big proponent of the program, said Project Lifesaver will be operational by around the first of November. Any family member who has a loved one they believe would be eligible for the program is encouraged to call the sheriff’s department.

Project Lifesaver is just another example of how nonprofits, businesses and governmental agencies can work together to benefit the community.