Does a loved one in your family have dementia?
Do you have a child with autism or another cognitive disorder that is prone to wandering?
The average search for a special needs patient that has eloped, takes nine hours, at a cost of approximately $1500 an hour.
If you have a loved one who is at risk of wandering, the City of Greenville’s implementation of Project Lifesaver reduces that time down to just minutes and could save a life.
What is Project Lifesaver?
This community based, public safety, non-profit organization provides law enforcement, fire/rescue, and caregivers with a program designed to protect, and when necessary, quickly locate individuals with cognitive disorders who are prone to the life-threatening behavior of elopement.
We have all the information you’ll need to decide if this public safety program is something that will help bring peace of mind to your family.
In the US more than five million Americans are currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. With 6 out of 10 of those individuals prone to wandering, this program could help a lot of people.
Autism affects 1 in 59 children, and nearly half of those children will wander. In both cases, this can result in a possibly life-threatening situation if the person is not found quickly.
How does Project Lifesaver work?
Project Lifesaver works with public safety departments and law enforcement to make sure loved ones are found and make it back home safely. Since its inception, search times for certified Project Lifesaver participants have been reduced from hours, potentially days, down to minutes.
Recovery times for program participants average 30 minutes, which is 95% less time than standard searches without Project Lifesaver.
In 2018 the Project Lifesaver device worn by a participant in Laurens county, helped first responders locate the person in just 15 minutes. The time these devices save first responders when answering a call of this kind could make the difference between it being a rescue or recovery effort.
Participants in the program are fitted with a GPS locator bracelet by their local participating public safety office. In the event that an elopement occurs, local law enforcement is equipped with the technology to locate the signal that is being emitted by the bracelet 24/7. Eligible applicants will receive a Project Lifesaver kit, which includes small water-resistant, ergonomic and lightweight transmitters that can be worn on the wrist or ankle.
This program is currently only available in Greenville to residents within the city limits. For residents interested in this program for themselves or loved ones, please visit the Greenville City website here.
Bon Secours St. Francis Health System awarded the Greenville City Fire Department a $20,000 grant to purchase equipment that will be provided to low-income families at no cost. City residents who receive Medicaid, Medicare or SNAP benefits are eligible to receive a transmitter and a year’s worth of batteries for free. City residents who do not meet the eligibility requirements can still participate in the program but will need to purchase their own transmitters.
To submit your interest to the Greenville City Fire department apply at the City of Greenville website.
Other Upstate counties that offer the Project Lifesaver Program:
- Laurens County Sheriff’s Office
216 W Main Street, Laurens SC | 864.984.49678
- Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office
312 East Frederick Street, Gaffney SC | 864.489.4722
- Oconee County Sherrif’s Office
300 South Church Street, Walhalla SC | 864.718.0884
- Newberry County Sherrif’s Office
550 Wilson Road, Newberry SC | 803.405.7708
- Chester County Sherrif’s Office
2740 Dawson Drive, Chester SC | 803.581.5131
A grassroots effort is working to bring this program to Spartanburg residents. If you think a loved one could benefit from this program in Spartanburg, contact the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Department to let them know there’s community interest.
There is an online tool to find more locations serving the community with the Project Lifesaver Program.