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Project Lifesaver coming to Bryan

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POSTED: March 10, 2010 2:40 p.m.
The Bryan County Sheriff’s Department and Bryan County Family Connection are bringing the Project Lifesaver program to Bryan County.
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, according to BCSD.
Project Lifesaver International, an electronic search and rescue (SAR) program, has conducted the mandatory training and provides certification, ongoing management and support to Bryan County Sheriff’s Department.
This training included 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 locally trained agencies and they are dispatched to the wanderer’s area.
The average rescue time remains around 30 minutes.
Bryan County Sheriff’s Department, in conjunction with Bryan County Family Connection, began researching the Project Lifesaver Program after the disappearance of local Pembroke resident Emma Carroll last summer.
“We have started this program in Mrs. Carroll’s honor,” said Wendy Sims, Bryan County Family Connection Director.
With the help of both Chatham and Bulloch County Sheriff’s Departments, who also participate in the program, Bryan County Sheriff’s Department was able to become a certified Project Lifesaver agency.
“We look forward to serving the residents of our county with this program—it brings peace of mind,” said Sheriff Clyde Smith, “We’ve seen the program in action and we know it works.”  
 Project Lifesaver develops public outreach programs to educate others about the issue of wandering, and they constantly work toward developing public policy and effective law enforcement response to help save lives and “bring loved ones home.”
This service is currently available for any Bryan County resident who meets the qualifications.
The Sheriff’s Department, along with Family Connection and the Alzheimer’s Association, will be hosting a Safety and Wandering Training on Tuesday, March 23 from 6-8 p.m. at the Dixie Harn Community Center located at 91 Lanier Street in Pembroke.
This event will launch the Project Lifesaver program. Applications and information will be available. Families and caregivers can enroll their loved ones by contacting Wendy Sims at 653.3824.
For more information, please contact Bryan County Sheriff’s Department at 653.3800 or Project Lifesaver International at 1-877-580-LIFE (5433) or www.projectlifesaver.org.

 

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