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Project Lifesaver

The Wood County Human Services Community Resources Division administers Wood County Project Lifesaver in partnership with local law enforcement, fire and rescue agencies and other public and private organization that assist both children and adults with cognitive impairments or medical issues that can put them at risk to unintentionally wander away and become lost.

How does it work?

Project Lifesaver uses radio technology to track a missing loved one. Unlike other tracking device programs, Lifesaver is not affected by weather, like programs using GPS technology. The tracking band can be located anywhere on the person and still provide a radio transmission.

Citizens enrolled in Project Lifesaver wear a small personal transmitter, usually around the wrist or ankle, that emits an individualized tracking signal. If an enrolled client goes missing, the caregiver notifies their local Project Lifesaver agency, and a trained emergency team responds to the wanderer’s area. Most who wander are found within a few miles from home, and search times have been reduced from hours and days to minutes. Recovery times for Project Lifesaver clients average 30 minutes — 95% less time than standard operations.

Who is eligible?

Persons enrolling in Project Lifesaver should meet the following requirements:

  • The at risk person requires one-on-one supervision, 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
  • The at risk person must have a diagnosed cognitive impairment that hinders their decision making ability, putting them at risk to wander unintentionally and get lost.

The tracking equipment CANNOT replace proper care, monitoring and oversight of the person at risk.

What are the family responsibilities?

Family members are required to provide 24 hour, one-on-one care for the Project Lifesaver client and check the battery/transmitter at least once a day. Once per month, the battery will be replaced by a member of the Project Lifesaver group at a predetermined time and location.

What is the cost?

Participants are asked to pay a one-time transmitter cost, currently $300, and a monthly fee of $15 to cover the cost of the transmitter band, replacement battery, and a transmitter tester. If cost would prevent enrollment of an eligible person, a member of Project Lifesaver can help locate funding available through various community resources.

For information or to enroll a child (17 and under), call: 715-421-8669

For information or to enroll an adult (18 and over), call: 715-421-8733

Online, check out the website for this international program at Project Lifesaver.