Barrie police partner with local business to deliver Project Lifesaver

“We want all families and caregivers for vulnerable persons to be aware of this incredibly useful program. We know that families of those living with conditions like Dementia, Alzheimer’s and Autism may not be aware of the services that are out there to support them and their loved ones. Belonging to Project Lifesaver can be very comforting for these caregivers who are worried that their loved one may wander off.” – Randy Starr of Seniors Helpers, Barrie

The Project Lifesaver program combines radio technology with a coordinated police response to locate wandering and disoriented persons due to Alzheimer’s Disease, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Acquired Brain Disorder, or other conditions or disorders.

With winter settling in, and along with it the dip in temperature that chills toes and fingers, the Barrie Police Service is reminding the public about Project Lifesaver, a program for individuals who are at risk of wandering and getting lost.
Participants registered with the Project Lifesaver program wear a wristband which emits an FM signal that can be tracked by police in the event that the individual goes missing. The watch-sized bracelet is a one-ounce, battery-operated transmitter that emits an FM radio frequency signal every second, 24 hours a day.
If a caregiver notifies Barrie Police Service that their loved one is missing, police will respond to the area where the person was last seen and utilize the specialized mobile-location tracking system.
Seniors Helpers, a Barrie business that specializes in the needs of seniors, has partnered with the Barrie Police Service to help deliver this program.
 “We want all families and caregivers for vulnerable persons to be aware of this incredibly useful program,” said Randy Starr of Seniors Helpers, Barrie. “We know that families of those living with conditions like Dementia, Alzheimer’s and Autism may not be aware of the services that are out there to support them and their loved ones. Belonging to Project Lifesaver can be very comforting for these caregivers who are worried that their loved one may wander off.”
Starr also notes that what sets Project Lifesaver apart is the equipment worn by the participant and the technology used to communicate with police.
“The wristbands are secure and difficult to remove. Volunteers from Georgian Bay Search and Rescue visit every 60 days to check and change the device’s batteries and ensure that the wristband is always in perfect working order,” said Starr.
Project Lifesaver participants must be registered with the Barrie Police Service’s Vulnerable Person’s Registry. If their caregiver reports them as missing, being registered with Project Lifesaver can make a significant difference to police as they begin to search for the individual.
“Project Lifesaver helps our efforts significantly when searching for missing vulnerable persons,” said Constable Jamie Saunders, a Search Master for the Barrie Police Service.
“We are able to use the highly accurate FM signal to get a better idea of the area where the missing person might be located. As a Search Master, we are then able to deploy the most effective human resources to that area, increasing the likelihood we will locate the missing person in the best possible condition in the least amount of time.”
The cost of the transmitter, bracelets and batteries is $500 for the year. After the first year, there is a $10 per month or $120 annual cost for replacement batteries and wristbands. Senior Helpers will meet with potential participants and their caregivers to provide and properly fit the bracelets and transmitters. Call 1-249-888-0249 to book an appointment. 
More information is also available on the Barrie Police Service website at BarriePolice.ca/project-lifesaver-simcoe.

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