On April 21, 2017, the Saskatoon Police Service Foundation announced they would be providing funding to Saskatoon Search and Rescue (SSAR) for Project Lifesaver, a program that assists in locating missing persons who are known to wander. The program will be run as a joint initiative between SSAR and the Saskatoon Police Service.
In 2016, SSAR volunteers were called out on 17 occasions and in four instances so far in 2017 to search for missing persons. Almost 1/3 of SSAR activations over the past three years have been for searches for people who are in a vulnerable state including persons with dementia, autism or other cognitive disorders.
Funding for the project will be provided to SSAR as part of the inaugural fundraising initiative conducted by the Foundation. The newly established foundation is an incorporated, not-for-profit, community-led organization. It is dedicated to raising funds to support projects that contribute to community safety.
If you would like to help with this fundraising initiative, please go to the Foundation’s website to donate.
What Is Project Lifesaver and How Does It Work? (from the Project Lifesaver International website www.projectlifesaver.org)
The primary mission of Project Lifesaver is to provide timely response to save lives and reduce potential injury for adults and children who wander due to Alzheimer’s, autism, and other related conditions or disorders.
The task of searching for wandering or lost individuals with Alzheimer’s, autism, Down syndrome, dementia or other cognitive conditions is a growing and serious responsibility. Without effective procedures and equipment, searches can involve multiple agencies, hundreds of officers, countless man hours and thousands of dollars. More importantly, because time is of the essence, every minute lost increases the risk of a tragic outcome.
Working hand in hand with trained public safety agencies, Project Lifesaver International (PLI) will help you save time, money and most importantly, your loved ones.
Citizens enrolled in Project Lifesaver wear a small personal transmitter around the wrist or ankle that emits an individualized tracking signal. If an enrolled client goes missing, the caregiver notifies their local Project Lifesaver agency, and a trained emergency team responds to the wanderer’s area. Most who wander are found within a few miles from home, and search times have been reduced from hours and days to minutes. Recovery times for PLI clients average 30 minutes — 95% less time than standard operations.
When Will Project Lifesaver Be Available in Saskatoon?
Members of Saskatoon Search and Rescue and the Saskatoon Police Service are working on finalizing logistics to get the program operational over the coming weeks and months. Thanks to funding from the Saskatoon Police Service Foundation, we are excited that this program will become reality. As soon as we have members fully trained in the use and operation of the equipment, we will provide additional information to the public and begin accepting applications for the program. To be advised when further information becomes available, please email firstname.lastname@example.org