Donations help launch Project Lifesaver

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The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office wishes to recognize the generosity of citizens who are helping to fund the launch of Project Lifesaver in Beaufort County.

Over the last six months, the Sheriff’s Office has received $2,850 from members of the community, bringing us closer to implementing the critically-needed services provided by the Project Lifesaver program.

A check was presented to Sheriff PJ Tanner from the Lowcountry Retired Law Enforcement Officers Association. Pictured from left is Norm Whyte, Sheriff PJ Tanner, John Pontillo, Bert Defazo and Jim Fitzgerald.
A check was presented to Sheriff PJ Tanner from the Lowcountry Retired Law Enforcement Officers Association. Pictured from left is Norm Whyte, Sheriff PJ Tanner, John Pontillo, Bert Defazo and Jim Fitzgerald.

A sincere thanks and appreciation to all our contributors: Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Nakikian ($1,500) and to Mr. Royce Chavis ($100) for last year’s donations. This month, additional donations were made by Hilton Head’s Old Oyster Factory ($250) as well as the Lowcountry Retired Law Enforcement Officers Association ($1,000).

Designed to track and rescue those with cognitive conditions who tend to wander, Project Lifesaver’s service assists in protecting people at risk of wandering, including those with Alzheimer’s, autism, Down Syndrome, and dementia.

Upon implementation, Project Lifesaver International, the leading organization in electronic search and rescue (SAR) programs, will conduct mandatory training and provide certification, ongoing management and support to the Sheriff’s Office personnel. Their training includes instruction on how to use the equipment and how to gain the trust of and communicate with people who wander, as well as to ensure that caregivers are well versed in the program — all of which are essential to a successful rescue.

Clients enrolled in the service will wear a wrist-watch sized radio transmitter on their wrist or ankle. The transmitter constantly emits a radio frequency signal, which can be tracked regardless of where the person has wandered—even into a densely wooded area, a marsh, a concrete structure such as a garage, or a building constructed with steel. When a loved one goes missing, caregivers notify locally trained agencies and they are dispatched to the wanderer’s area. The average rescue time remains around 30 minutes.

Project Lifesaver develops public outreach programs to educate others about the issue of wandering, and they constantly work toward developing public policy and effective law enforcement response to help save lives and “bring loved ones home.”

For more information about this program and/or making donations, please contact SSgt. K. Light at 843-255-3410 with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.