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Project Lifesaver Provides Peace of Mind


Mercy Medical, a faith-based, nonprofit healthcare organization, and law enforcement agencies formed an alliance to bring Project Lifesaver to Mobile and Baldwin counties. The Sheriffs' Office of Mobile and Baldwin counties lead the law enforcement team that includes local police departments. These agencies are responsible for search and rescue. They also share with Mercy Medical the responsibilities of training and educating law enforcement officers and volunteers, and monitoring and maintaining the equipment.

Mercy Medical also provides the day-to-day administration functions, which includes enrolling participants, managing and raising funds, and providing public relations.

Other law enforcement agencies and healthcare organizations readily lend assistance when there is a need.

The Cost of Project Lifesaver
Caregivers responsible for the safety of loved ones with Alzheimer's, dementia, autism or other disorders, often live in fear that they will wander off and become lost. Project Lifesaver has eased that fear for many area residents. The program is designed to track participants who are traveling on foot; however, it also has proved to be an asset when other scenarios arise. Project Lifesaver maintains individual profiles that include vital statistics on its enrolled participants that are readily available if they wander and become lost.

Project Lifesaver is the nation's most effective program for locating and rescuing individuals that wander and are missing. In 1999, the Chesapeake, Va., Sheriff's Office and the 43rd Virginia Search and Rescue Company began Project Lifesaver, which now operates in 46 states and Canada.

The Project Lifesaver Team
A typical search and rescue can cost the government hundreds of thousands of dollars and frequently has a tragic ending. Project Lifesaver can drastically reduce that cost and increase the chances for a much more successful result. However, Project Lifesaver requires specially designed equipment that employs advanced technology. The cost of search and rescue equipment utilized by Project Lifesaver ranges from $300 to $10,000.

Residents enrolled in Project Lifesaver do not bear the burden of this expense. The cost of the equipment for one participant is $300, which participants' families are not required to pay. That cost is in addition to the $120 per year for monthly battery and wristband changes. Administrative costs are absorbed by Mercy Medical.

How the program works
Project Lifesaver relies on advanced technology and a highly trained rapid response team of law enforcement agencies. Participants wear wristband transmitters that emit signals picked up by special receivers with directional antennas.

Caregivers check the wristband daily to make sure the transmitter signal is strong and the wristband is secure. The transmitter's battery requires a monthly change, which is conducted by law enforcement officers and Mercy Medical staff members or other agencies.

In the event a participant wanders off and law enforcement is notified, the search-and-rescue team is deployed utilizing Project Lifesaver's specialized equipment.

How to enroll

  • Call Mercy Medical at 621.4431
  • Schedule a personal interview
  • Complete a questionnaire to determine eligibility
  • Provide information for the participant's profile sheet
  • Photograph the participant

The questionnaire and profile sheet require physical descriptions, medical history and personality characteristics of the participant. Should a search become necessary, this information is easily accessed by law enforcement.

Participants' families, that have the means, pay $10 per month to cover the cost of the battery and wristband replacements. Participants do not pay for their home transmitters or base units. No one is denied enrollment due to lack of ability to pay, although there is a qualification process.

How to help
Project Lifesaver relies on the generosity of individuals, corporations and community organizations for financial support. Please consider making a donation to help support this much-needed community service. Donations may be made by credit card or check payable to "Mercy Medical" through the response form included in this brochure.

Yes, I will help Project Lifesaver.

Click here to contribute to Project Lifesaver.