Project Lifesaver

Project Lifesaver is dedicated to “bringing loved ones home.”

It is estimated that 60 percent of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease will experience wandering behavior at some point during the illness. Utilizing this proactive system, Project Lifesaver has been successful in 100 percent of its searches to date, “bringing loved ones home” in an average response time of less than 30 minutes; 95% quicker than standard search operations.

Improving the quality of life for individuals dealing with the effects of Alzheimer’s, Downs Syndrome, Dementia and other such disorders.

project lifesaver The Amador Community Foundation is partnering with the Amador County Sheriff’s Office to fund a new project for Amador County; Project Lifesaver. Project Lifesaver is dedicated to “bringing loved ones home.”

Project Lifesaver International was established in 1999 to assist law enforcement in locating “wanderers” with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, such as Down syndrome and autism.

Utilizing grant funding, the Sheriff’s Office invested over $10,000 in Project Lifesaver equipment and training for their staff .However, due to budgetary constraints the family or the client will still be required to purchase the individual transmitters necessary for the program to function so the Sheriff’s Office reached out to the Amador Community Foundation for assistance.

Amador County Sheriff’s Office has responded to three or more Alzheimer’s related missing person’s call per year. Sheriff Ryan states “while this office has been successful in locating these individuals over the past eight years, the risk of a tragic ending is a real possibility given our terrain and changing weather conditions”.

Retired Undersheriff, Karl Knobelach said “I can think of three specific cases during my career at the Amador Sheriff’s Office that ended tragically but could have been prevented with this new technology.  The first was a senior who got out of the house late at night and was struck by a car on Hwy. 88 and pronounced dead at the scene. Two other cases involved seniors who wandered off.  In spite of a massive search and rescue efforts neither senior nor their remains were ever found.”

Project Lifesaver’s rapid response program relies on proven radio technology and specially trained search and rescue teams. Individuals are fitted with wristband transmitters that, using FM radio frequencies and 30-day batteries, emit a continuous signal 24 hours a day. Public safety and law enforcement teams utilize mobile tracking systems that receive the signals and can locate the missing from a mile away on the ground to five miles by air.

It is estimated that 60 percent of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease will experience wandering behavior at some point during the illness. Utilizing this proactive system, Project Lifesaver has been successful in 100 percent of its searches to date, “bringing loved ones home” in an average response time of less than 30 minutes; 95% quicker than standard search operations.

Talking with Sheriff Ryan he went on to explain how proud he is of his Search and Rescue (SAR) team volunteers who will visit each client monthly to change the battery in their transmitter. Sheriff Ryan stated that, “When SAR volunteers visit the clients to change batteries each month they will establish a rapport with them. It is hoped that should the clients wander, they would relate to seeing someone wearing the SAR volunteer yellow uniform shirt as being a person who can help them.”

$7,500 will purchase 15 units and batteries for 3 years. $360 will purchase one unit. Patrick Crew, president of the Foundation Board and Mayor of Jackson states “We have a unique opportunity to partner with the Sheriff’s office to improve the quality of life for those dealing with the effects of Alzheimer’s, Downs Syndrome, dementia and other such disorders. I am personally and professionally committed to supporting Project Lifesaver for our community”.

Sheriff Ryan thanked the Amador Community Foundation for their “amazing and generous response to our request for assistance in bringing Project Lifesaver to Amador County.”

Amador Community Foundation has dedicated $7500 to establish a Matching Grant Program. “We believe this needs to be funded in perpetuity” states Executive Director, Kathleen Harmon. “No one should ever have to face losing their loved one when Project Lifesaver can prevent it”. To contribute to Project Lifesaver contact ACF at 223-2148, click DONATE NOW at the top of this web page; purpose Project Lifesaver, or mail a check payable to ACF attention Project Lifesaver. Partner with us to bring Project Lifesaver to Amador County and keep it funded for the families in our community affected by loved ones with Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Downs Syndrome.