Project Lifesaver worth looking into

Published 4:32 am Sunday, August 3, 2008

The issue: Helping those who cannot help themselves

Our position: Project Lifesaver is a project many should know about.

Last week, The Selma Times-Journal ran a story about a man who suffers from Alzheimers becoming lost, but being found within minutes.

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The reason this story turned out as a happy one, instead of as a tragic loss of an individual, rested in the device he had as part of Project Lifesaver.

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department participates in this program. Deputies were able to find the missing man within minutes because of the program.

Here’s how it works: Project Lifesaver relies on proven radio technology and a specially trained search and rescue team. Clients that are enrolled in the Project Lifesaver program wear a personalized wristband that emits a tracking signal. When caregivers notify the local Project Lifesaver agency that the person is missing, a search and rescue team responds to the wanderer’s area and starts searching with the mobile locater tracking system.

Many times we have read or heard of stories of individuals who wandered away from home only to have bodies discovered days later by law enforcement or volunteer searchers.

Those with loved ones who might need the service will pay about a $10 monthly fee. That’s about the cost of a couple of burgers at a local fast-food restaurant.

Sheriff Harris Huffman recently spoke to us about the project. It’s one of the services his department offers citizens, and he’s proud of it. Right now, less than a dozen people take advantage of it, however.

Sure, there’s a minimal cost, but if you have someone who could become confused and wander away from the house while you’re working on something or otherwise distracted, it could become a lifesaver — quite literally.

The sheriff’s department is willing to work with anyone who thinks they may be interested in the program.

It’s worth checking out.