GREENSBURG – The Greensburg Police Department hosted a training seminar in October for members of both the local police department and the Greensburg Fire Department.
According to information provided by the GPD, members from both agencies were certified in Project Lifesaver.
Project Lifesaver is a community-based, public safety, non-profit organization that provides law enforcement, fire and rescue, and caregivers with a program designed to protect, and when necessary, quickly locate individuals with cognitive disorders who are prone to the life-threatening behavior of wandering.
The project uses radio technology along with trained search and rescue teams.
Those enrolled in Project Lifesaver wear a small transmitter on their wrist or ankle that emits an individualized frequency signal. If they go missing, their caregiver notifies the local Project Lifesaver agency and emergency personnel then responds to the area.
The GPD is the contact agency locally, but they hope that as the program grows more agencies in the county will be involved.
Search times for certified Project Lifesaver agencies have been reduced from days and hours down to minutes, according to the GPD.
Recovery times for Project Lifesaver agencies average 30 minutes, which is 95 percent less time than standard operations.
“This is something we’ve been wanting to do for a two-and-a-half years,” GPD Chief Brendan Bridges said. “We now have seven guys certified, and we are now instructors and can certify people. We’re going to certify another five to eight officers locally, and there will be more certified at the fire department.”
Public safety personnel in Decatur County had to attend a two-day course to become certified in the use of the equipment. During the two-day course, first responders were not only tasked with written exams, but also had to go through a practical exam where each person had to locate three transmitters within a 15-minute time period, according to the GPD.
While the GPD has the majority of equipment for first responders, they are now looking at purchasing items for individuals that will be part of the program.
Bridges said the program will not only target younger individuals with autism, Down Syndrome and traumatic brain injuries, but will also target individuals with Alzheimer’s.
“This program will be very beneficial,” Bridges said.
Those currently certified in Decatur County include Bridges, Detective Steve Barnes, Sgt. Brandon Meyer, Officer Casey Jones, Officer Devin Moore, Officer Austin Gross, and from the fire department, Assistant Chief David Roszell.
Those interested in this program can contact Bridges at 812-663-3131.
At this time, all equipment will be provided by the Greensburg Police Department free of charge.
The GPD hope to have the program fully functioning by Dec. 1.