The Montgomery County Sheriff’s office announced recently that they are now part of the Project Lifesaver program, which is a system used nation-wide for tracking people who are at risk for wandering, such as those with Alzheimer’s disease, autism, Down Syndrome, dementia or other cognitive disabilities.
According to Deputy Joseph Parisi, the administrator for the program, the system consists of a watch-sized radio transmitter that is worn by an at-risk person on their wrist or ankle, and a handheld receiver that officers can use to track the signal up to 2 miles away. Additionally, patrol cars have been fitted with receivers that can also pick up the signal.
Each person enrolled in the system is assigned their own radio frequency which is kept on file by the sheriff’s department to be used in case a person goes missing.
According to Project Lifesaver’s website, the average recovery time for a lost person with the system is 30 minutes.
According to Parisi, he and other staff have received specialized training with the system, which is also active in other surrounding counties including Fulton, Schenectady, and Saratoga County.
Parisi said that through a state grant, at-risk county residents are eligible to receive a transmitter and extra batteries and wristbands each year. Parisi said only a one-time $100 dollar deposit is required to get started. He said some form of documentation as to the nature of the person’s disability, such as a doctor’s note, is helpful in determining whether the person is eligible.
For more information about enrolling in the program, please contact the Montgomery county sheriff’s office at 853-5500.