Issue 2 2022

Dec21125 The Gold Standard of Search and Rescue for At-Risk Individuals who Tend to Wander Project Lifesaver is a 501 (C) (3) community-based, public safety, non-profit organisation that provides law enforcement, fire/rescue and other first responders with a comprehensive programme for the search and rescue of individuals with cognitive dis including those with Alzheimer’s disease and autism. In light of Corporate Vision magazine naming the organisation Most Outstanding Public Safety Training & Services Provider – 2022, we take a closer look at how it saves lives. Military veteran and retired law enforcement captain, Gene Saunders is the CEO and founder of Project Lifesaver International, established in 1999. During the past 22 years, following his retirement, Gene has dedicated his life to safety and protection of at-risk individuals with cognitive conditions who are prone to the life-threatening behaviour of wandering. This came with the observation that there was a void that needed to be filled in providing search, rescue and protection for them. Project Lifesaver was the first organisation to apply tracking technology for the search and rescue of individuals with cognitive disorders and has remained the leader, the Gold Standard, in this field for over two decades. Because of its extensive experience in search and rescue of wanderers, Project Lifesaver has provided valuable insight and information in the development of policy and sound practices for search, rescue, and safe recovery of at-risk wanders. It helps in the development of materials and training programmes to provide the necessary education of doctors, caregivers, school administrators, first responders/search personnel, and of course, the families with loved ones at risk. In fact, Project Lifesaver is a subject matter expert and advisor on the wandering issue for: Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer’s disease (LEAD), National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Alzheimer’s Foundation, and the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA). The Project Lifesaver’s training programme is recognised and approved by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services and National Preparedness Institute of Indian River State College. What has made Project Lifesaver’s approach unique is that it has created an entire education and training programme that includes tracking techniques and technology, partnering with the local first responders, educating those public safety agencies on the latest health information related to the disorders they will be working with, and training those first responders to approach the at-risk individual, gain their trust and put them at ease for their trip home once they have been located. Project Lifesaver-trained emergency response teams have rescued nearly 4,000 at-risk individuals (and this number is growing with each passing day). The programme is now in nearly 1,700 agencies covering all 50 states and throughout all the Canadian provinces. Company: Project Lifesaver International Contact: Gene Saunders Email: [email protected] Website: