The Florence Township Police Department, in conjunction with the Burlington County Sheriff’s Department, organized the Burlington County Project Lifesaver Program. Officers have been trained and certified by experts from Project Lifesaver. Our trained officers are available at anytime to respond to help locate missing persons who are a part of Project Lifesaver.
Being a personal caregiver for someone else is a difficult task. The responsibility is enormous and can be draining. The situation can be dramatically intensified when the person that is being cared for begins to wander away. The caregiver is thrust into a situation where they cannot let their guard down for a minute. The tendency to wander is prevalent among people that are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. People with Down Syndrome, Autism, Prader-Willi or traumatic brain injury also exhibit this tendency. Reasoning, judgment, the ability to communicate, and other behaviors are all affected by these conditions. It is estimated that 59% of people with Alzheimer’s disease will wander and become lost. Many victims will wander repeatedly. The dangers to the wanderer are numerous. If an elderly Alzheimer’s patient is left outside for more than 24 hours, their chance of survival drops to 50% due to the risk of exposure. A lost person with Alzheimer’s or a related disease or injury represents a critical medical emergency. The wanderer’s inability or unwillingness to communicate has frustrated caregivers and searchers alike. Traditional search methods rely heavily on the ability of the lost person to respond to searchers when they call. When this ability doesn’t exist or the person elects not to respond, search efforts are time consuming and can take a tragic turn.
Project Lifesaver Overview
Project Lifesaver is designed to provide a safety net for the most vulnerable citizens in our community. Each Project Lifesaver client is provided* a one-ounce electronic bracelet that emits a unique radio signal 24 hours a day. When a client wanders, a call to 911 by the caregiver triggers a rapid response by a trained team within Burlington County. Under the direction of the trained responding officers, a search is started to locate that client’s unique radio signal as soon as possible.
Agencies using Project Lifesaver have reduced search time dramatically. Searches that lasted hours and utilized dozens of search and rescue personnel are now accomplished in under an hour by small specialized teams. Fatalities have been reduced by 90%.
If you have a loved one or know of an acquaintance or care provider that could benefit from involvement in Project Lifesaver, please contact: SO Michelle Koroseta at Florence Twp. Police (609)499-3131 or The Burlington County Sheriff’s Department – Community Services Unit – Telephone: 609-265-3788