Sergeant Chris Fincher and Sergeant William Wacker, from the Floyd County Police Department are both Rome natives with a combined 28 years in law enforcement. While they both have experience in many roles within the department, today they are both highly involved with Project Lifesaver. Project Lifesaver is a tracking system that people with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and autism can wear that will help them be located if they wander away from their everyday surroundings.
The device can be worn on the wrist or ankle and transmits a specific radio frequency that can be detected by a locator operated by the Floyd County Police Department. The Police Department has an omnidirectional antenna that attaches to an automobile that can pick up the beacon within a 5 mile radius. They also have two handheld devices, called PLI’s, with a range of 2 miles, so they can focus in on the missing person. People who have been reported missing while wearing the Project Lifesaver device are usually found within 30 minutes. Each handheld locator can find 999 frequencies so they can service almost 2000 residents of Floyd County.
People with dementia are very mission oriented and will work hard to reach their goals. If someone is searching or calling to them, they may hide from rescuers. Most of the time, the only thing that can stop someone who has begun to wander are natural barriers (vines, stream, water) or a health issue.
Families interested in getting more information about Project Lifesaver can get more information by calling the Floyd County Police Department at (706) 235-7766 or they can fill out an application found here.
It is recommended that all families with a loved one who wander complete the application even if they don’t buy the wearable device. The information gathered is stored in the Department’s database and can save precious time when a missing person is reported.
Citizens can also request a C.I.T. (Certified Crisis Intervention) Officer if they need to report an incident involving someone with diminished capacity. These officers have an additional 40+ hours of training for situations involving mental illness.
The cost of $375.00 for the system includes the tracking device, multiple bands made of vinyl or leather (there is also an option of vinyl with a metal wire inside to protect from tampering), a year’s supply of batteries, and a battery tester. When you receive your device a designated officer will give the families a tutorial on proper use.
For more information please contact: Sargent Chris Fincher (706) 235-7766 5 Government Plaza #200 Rome, GA 30161 Floyd County Police Department
Project Lifesaver is also available through: The Area Agency on Aging of NWGA 3 Jackson Hill Dr. Rome, GA 30161 (706) 802-5506
60% of people diagnosed with alzheimer’s will wander 50% of all people with autism will wander 100% success rate with project lifesaver
Would you like to know more about what it is like living with dementia? Click here to learn about the Virtual Dementia Tour: Second Wind
More resources about dementia and Project Lifesaver Project Lifesaver 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Alzheimer’s Association Georgia Chapter Facebook Page