Project Lifesaver

Project Lifesaver, a non-profit organization, has become internationally recognized as an aggressive and proven program that saves lives. It is an active response to a problem of locating wandering patients before they fall victim to the elements.

Over 5 million people in the USA have Alzheimer’s or a related disorder. That number will triple by 2050. Well over 50% of these people wander and become lost. A lost person with Alzheimer’s, Autism or other medical disorders represents a critical emergency. Nearly half of them will die and many become injured if they are not located within 24 hours.

The Need for Project Lifesaver

What we do

Project Lifesaver forms partnerships with local law enforcement and public safety organizations. Project Lifesaver deploys specially trained teams with the most reliable technology available to quickly locate and return wandering adults and children to their family and caregivers.

Project Lifesaver emphasizes relationships between team members and the people who may wander before the need may arise for a rescue. Team members visit the home of the bracelet recipients to install the transmitter and change batteries monthly. Team members are not only trained in the use of the electronic tracking equipment, but especially in methods to communicate with a person who has Alzheimer’s or a related disorder. Locating the person is only a part of the mission. The person who is lost may be disoriented, anxious and untrusting. The Project Lifesaver team member knows how to approach the person, gain their trust and put them at ease for the trip home.

How it works

Project lifesaver is designed to provide a safety net for the most vulnerable citizens in our community. Each client is provided a small 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 the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office and local volunteer Search and Rescue teams.

Using a mobile locator system, search crews are able to monitor the transmitter signal and locate the client.

The signal can be detected inside a building or outside, day or night, up to a mile a way on the ground and 5-6 miles from the air.

Client qualifications

Project Lifesaver is a voluntary program. In order to qualify, the client must:

  • Live in Yamhill County.

  • Be diagnosed by a certified physician as having Alzheimer’s Disease, other dementia disorders, autism, Down’s Syndrome or other similar disorders.

  • Be known to wander away from caregivers.

In order to participate, caregivers must agree to the following responsibilities:

  • Check the condition of the bracelet daily.

  • Notify Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office Project Lifesaver Team promptly if there are any problems with the equipment.

  • If the client drives, keys must be taken away.

  • Notify 911 immediately if client is missing.

Client enrollment or to donate

Although some counties do charge, Yamhill County Project Lifesaver provides our clients the equipment, battery replacements, and all services completely free of charge. We rely on contributions and thank our generous supporters. For client enrollment or to make a TAX DEDUCTIBLE donation contact:

Project Lifesaver Coordinator Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office

535 E. Fifth Street

McMinnville, Oregon 97128

(503) 434-7506

Yamhill County Search and Rescue Team