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Project Lifesaver

Project Lifesaver is a program of the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office and Cherokee County Emergency Managment Agency

What is Project Lifesaver?

Project Lifesaver protects wandering patients and gives peace of mind to caregivers, families, and communities.

Project Lifesaver is an innovative and rapidly growing program aiding the victims and families suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and related disorders such as Down’s Syndrome and Autism. Project Lifesaver uses state-of-the-art technology employing wristband transmitters to locate wandering and lost adults and children.

Over 5,000,000 people in the USA have Alzheimer’s. That number will triple by 2050. Well over 50% of these people wander and become lost. A lost person with Alzheimer’s Disease or other dementia represents a critical emergency as nearly half of them will die, and many can become injured or fall victim to predators if they are not located within 24 hours. The number of people, families, and communities experiencing this risk will grow dramatically in this decade.

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

How Project Lifesaver works

Project Lifesaver is much more than a passive ID bracelet. It is an active system that relies on state-of-the-art technology and a specially trained search and rescue team of professionals. People who are enrolled in the program wear a personalized bracelet that emits a tracking signal. When caregivers notify the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office that the person is missing, a search and rescue team responds to the wanderer’s area and starts searching with the mobile locator tracking system. Search times have been reduced from hours and days to minutes. In hundreds of searches, there have been no reported serious injuries or deaths. Recovery times average less than 30 minutes.

The Project Lifesaver bracelet is a one-ounce battery-operated radio wrist transmitter emitting an automatic tracking signal every second, 24 hours a day. The signal is tracked on the ground or in the air over several miles. As each bracelet has a unique radio frequency, the Project Lifesaver search team positively locates and identifies the person who has wandered away from home or a care facility.

Technology is only half the story

Members of the Project Lifesaver team are specially trained, in using electronic tracking equipment and the methods to communicate with a person who has Alzheimer’s Disease or related disorders. Locating the individual is only part of the mission. The person who has been located will be disoriented, anxious, and untrusting. The Project Lifesaver team knows how to approach the person, gain their trust, and put them at ease for the trip back home.

Educational and community awareness programs have been a cornerstone to Project Lifesaver’s success. The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Project Lifesaver team members are also active in presenting information to civic groups, community clubs, and various healthcare providers throughout their communities.


Citizens have been mostly responsible for bringing Project Lifesaver to their communities. Hundreds of communities across the U.S. have now adopted Project Lifesaver to locate those residents who may wander away from familiar surroundings. People with Alzheimer’s Disease, Autism, Down Syndrome, Williams Syndrome, Soto Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, traumatic brain injuries, or other conditions that cause wandering issues are potential candidates for Project Lifesaver.

Cherokee County Project Lifesaver Facts
  • No injuries requiring an overnight hospital stay and no deaths. Everyone wearing a Project Lifesaver bracelet was located - 100% Success Rate.

  • Average location time: 22 minutes.

  • Over 30 Wanders found to date.

More Information

For more information, please call Patricia Simmons at 678-493-4057.

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