GOSHEN – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus, Commissioner of Mental Health and Social Services Darcie Miller and Sheriff Carl E. DuBois have announced the County is now utilizing Project Lifesaver.
Project Lifesaver is the premier search and rescue program operated by public safety agencies. It is strategically designed for “at risk” residents with Autism, Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions who are prone to the dangerous behavior of wandering from safety. The primary mission of Project Lifesaver is to provide a timely response to save lives and reduce potential injuries.
“Project Lifesaver is an important tool that will help improve the safety of those who might wander and be vulnerable.” Neuhaus said. “This innovative service can help to locate missing persons quickly and can save lives. The County continues to be proactive about public safety and we look forward to using this important and possibly life-saving technology.”
Added Orange County Sheriff Carl E. DuBois, “Project Lifesaver is another example of our commitment to protect a segment of our population that may need assistance. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office strongly encourages families and caregivers of persons at risk of wandering to participate. We will continue to be a strong advocate and partner in protecting Orange County residents.”
Residents enrolled in Project Lifesaver receive a plastic bracelet containing a waterproof radio transmitter, which is assigned to a radio frequency that is unique to them and their geographical area of the County. The bracelet can be worn on the client’s wrist or ankle. If the enrolled person wanders or is missing, the caregiver should immediately call 911. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office will be dispatched with locator equipment to start a search with other emergency resources.
“The County’s Emergency Services Department receives calls about individuals wandering each year,” Orange County Commissioner of Emergency Services Brendan Casey said. “Project Lifesaver provides a solution to locate these vulnerable residents and helps alleviate any safety fears that their caregivers might have.”
The cost for an initial kit is $300, but financial assistance may be available for those in need. Bands and straps in vinyl or nylon are $1.75 each. Nylon bands require a snap lock that cost 25 cents. Six batteries are needed for the bracelet and it is advised that they be checked regularly and changed every 60 days.
“Utilizing Project Lifesaver will greatly assist Orange County residents with special needs,” Miller said. “In partnership with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, these locating devices will be distributed by the County Department of Mental Health to those that meet eligibility requirements. The use of these devices and tracking equipment will improve quality of life and bring peace of mind to those who use them and their caregivers.”