The Project Lifesaver missing person search and rescue program by the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Officers is available to residents age 5 and over who have a history of wandering due to illness or disability and require 24-hour supervision.
Project Lifesaver is collaboratively administrated by the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office and the Office of Aging & Disabled Services, overseen by Freeholder Blanquita Valenti, chair of the county’s Community Services Committee.
Currently, the program is serving 44 participants – 34 children and 10 adults – who have conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or autism, according to information provided by the Middlesex County Office of Communication.
“Project Lifesaver helps ease the concern of caregivers who are trying to cope with wandering behavior. If they become separated from their families, the radio tracking device assists sheriff’s officers to locate the wearer in the event the person becomes lost,” Scott said in the statement.
The program is managed by Sgt. Allan McDermid of the sheriff’s office, along with Charlene Ilkowitz and Debra Hehir from the Office of Aging & Disabled Services.
Participants must be able to tolerate a device worn on their person which emits a unique radio frequency. This enables the team to search for the participant in case they wander away or get lost, according to the statement.
“We applaud the sheriff’s office for reacting quickly to locate the missing person and using Project Lifesaver equipment effectively,” Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios said in the statement. “Project Lifesaver is an invaluable initiative that is doing as its name suggests: saving lives.”
For guidelines on eligibility, call McDermid at 732-745-3166, Ilkowitz (adults) at 732-246-5561 or Debbie Hehir (children) at 732-745-2587.