Lawrence County to join national program

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 2, 2008

It is a caregiver’s worst nightmare: an elderly person, perhaps suffering from Alzheimer’s or a disability, wanders away, unable to find his or her way back home.

Soon, the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office will join a nationwide program aimed at finding such people.

It is called Project Lifesaver. Participants receive a bracelet that can transmit an electronic signal. Should the person with the bracelet wander away from home, trained personnel will go to the area where the missing party was last seen and locate them with hand-held devices that can pick up the signal from the bracelet.

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Lawrence County Sheriff Tim Sexton said the average time it takes to find an Operation Lifesaver participant with a bracelet is 22 minutes.

“With our terrain and weather, 22 minutes is important,” Sexton said. “This is a good program. It is supported by the National Sheriff’s Association. We hope we never have to use it but if we do, this program offers a little more security to families who may need it.”

His deputies will soon undergo training for the program and in the future may in turn train personnel from other local agencies.

Project Lifesaver is being paid for by donations from several area businesses and organizations: Dow Chemical, Ohio River Bank, Ironton Lions Club, Dr. Dan Bentley and Bentley Pharmacy, Beford South Point Ford, the Ironton Moose Club, Ironton Eagles and Ultimate Health Care of

South Point.

Sexton said start-up costs are $7,680 and is being paid for entirely by donations from these entities.

Sexton said the cost of a bracelet is $280-$300. Any entity that may want to sponsor a bracelet may contact the sheriff’s office at (740) 532-3525.