rescue_patch Monterey County Sheriff's Office
 Search and Rescue 
So that others may live
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Project Lifesaver

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Over five million people in the United States have Alzheimer's and related disorders. That number will triple by 2050. Well over 50 percent of these people wander and become lost. A lost person with Alzheimer's or other dementia represents a critical emergency. They are unaware of their situation, they do not call out for help and do not respond to people calling out to them. Nearly half of them will die, and many can become injured or fall victim to predators if they are not located within 24 hours.

If you are not yet touched in some way by Alzheimer's or a related disorder, chances are you will be within the next several years. You will find it among neighbors, your friends, co-workers, and perhaps within your own family.

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 families and caregivers.

Project Lifesaver, a nonprofit organization, has become internationally recognized as an aggressive and proven program that saves lives. It is not a registry system. It is an active response to the problem of locating wandering patients before they fall victim to the elements, accidents, or predators.

How Project Lifesaver Works

People who are part of Project Lifesaver wear a personalized wristband that emits a tracking signal. When caregivers notify the local Project Lifesaver agency that the person is missing, a search and rescue team responds to the wanderer's area and starts searching with a mobile locator tracking system. In this way, search times have been reduced from hours and days to minutes.

The Project Lifesaver wristband is much more than a passive ID bracelet. It is a one-ounce battery-powered wrist transmitter that emits an automatic tracking signal ever second, 24 hours a day. Each wristband has a unique radio frequency, which can be tracked on the ground or in the air over several miles.

Locating the individual is only part of the mission. The person who has wandered will be disoriented, anxious, and untrusting. Our specially trained Project Lifesaver team know how to approach the person and put him or her at ease for the trip home.

The cost is $300 for the wristband, and $25 a month for battery replacement. A Project Lifesaver team member makes regular visits to the home of the wristband wearer to maintain the equipment.

Saving Lives and Community Resources

A 45-year-old man suffering from a traumatic brain injury became lost and disoriented. A deputy sheriff specially trained and equipped by Project Lifesaver was able to locate the man one and a half miles from his home within 20 minutes. A traditional search without Project Lifesaver would have normally involved the time (and expense) of up to 265 searchers and 924 man-hours.

An 80-year-old woman with Alzheimer's disease wandered from her home at night. The family contacted Project Lifesaver upon learning she was missing. Two sheriff's vehicles with Project Lifesaver equipment arrived on the scene and located the woman lying in a field, covered with mud. She had wandered, fallen, and could not get up. Rescuers reported that a person standing 10 feet away would not have noticed her lying there.

A 79-year-old man with Alzheimer's left his house in his truck and could not find his way back home. After searchers canvassed the neighborhood, a police helicopter was called in with a Project Lifesaver team and equipment. In just 35 minutes, the helicopter located the man using the signal transmitted from his bracelet. He was found 14 miles from his home. Several weeks earlier, before joining Project Lifesaver, he wandered off and was missing for two and a half days.

Contact Us

To enroll in Project Lifesaver or make a donation to this important cause, contact the Monterey County Sheriff's Office, at (831) 647-7702.

For more information, visit www.projectlifesaver.org.


The Sheriff's Advisory Council Search and Rescue team is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, depends on the support of the community. Project Lifesaver's goal is to provide the benefits of the program to all in need, regardless of their ability to pay.

Funding for the organization comes only from private donations and grants from government, corporations, and charitable foundations.

All contributions made to Project Lifesaver are tax deductible and are used directly for program operations, including equipment, rescues, and education. All contributions are 100% tax deductible.