Project Lifesaver comes to town

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By Carol A. Clark

The terrifying prospect of a loved one going missing lessened last week in Los Alamos County. Sheriffs from Doa Ana County trained Los Alamos police detectives on the latest technology available to quickly locate and return wandering adults – who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, Down syndrome or autism, for instance – and children to their families and caregivers.Project Lifesaver forms partnerships with local law enforcement and public safety organizations around the country. People enrolled in the Project Lifesaver program wear a personalized wristband that emits a tracking signal every second, 24 hours a day.When caregivers notify the local Project Lifesaver agency that a person is missing, the search and rescue team deploys to the wanderer’s area and starts searching with the mobile locater tracking system. Search times have been reduced under this program from hours and days to sheer minutes.In more than 1,000 searches, everyone was found and there have been no reported serious injuries or deaths.Betty Kuehne is program director of the New Mexico chapter of Alzheimer’s Association. “Project Lifesaver is funded under a federal grant and we are the conduit for the grant,” Kuehne said. “We work with sheriff’s departments in each county.

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