A program provided by police departments nationwide–and locally, by Lower Saucon Township Police–is bringing peace of mind to families that include individuals who are prone to wandering.
Project Lifesaver is designed to help police and public safety organizations do more to protect individuals who are at risk for wandering due to a cognitive, developmental or other condition.
Lower Saucon Police first announced that the department had joined the Project Lifesaver network last year, and they shared additional information about it in a Crimewatch post Monday.
According to the post, the Project Lifesaver program incorporates state-of-the-art locating technologies, innovative search-and-rescue methods and techniques learned in community policing courses that educate first responders about the various conditions that can result in someone wandering away from home; a behavior that can potentially be life-threatening.
“The search times for certified Project Lifesaver agencies have been reduced from hours–potentially days–down to minutes,” it noted. “Recovery times for Project Lifesaver agencies average 30 minutes, which is 95 percent less time than standard operations without Project Lifesaver.”
Individuals who are enrolled in Project Lifesaver wear a small transmitter on their wrist or ankle that emits a unique frequency signal. If that person disappears and a family member or caregiver reports them missing, a trained emergency team will then respond to the area and use the individualized frequency to locate them.
“The knowledge given from the community policing courses is best applied in this situation because the first responders will know how to best approach the client once found, and allow them to be brought back to safety,” police said.
Local residents who are interested in more information about Project Lifesaver or wish to join the program at no cost should contact the Bethlehem Health Bureau at 610-865-7083 or the Lower Saucon Township Police Department’s Project Lifesaver coordinators, Cpl. Kyle Haggerty and Cpl. Tom Louder, at 610-317-6110.
In addition to Lower Saucon Township, other local police departments are part of the Project Lifesaver network, including Bethlehem, Hellertown, Salisbury and Upper Saucon Township. Additional participating agencies may be found using the search tool on the Project Lifesaver website, which states that more than 4,000 people have been safely rescued thanks to the program.