RAPID CITY, S.D. – An elderly male on Project Lifesaver walked away from his house in Rapid City, January 12, 2020. The call came in about 4:00 am. The wife last saw her husband around 10:00 pm the night before when she went to bed.
Just as the Sheriff’s Office was powering up the tracking equipment in coordination with the Rapid City Police Department, a Pennington County Deputy spotted the man a couple blocks away from his home walking in the Grandview Elementary playground area. Medical checked him out and he appeared to be well.
Project Lifesaver is used for people on 24 hour supervision who are at risk of being lost. It was developed for locating missing persons with dementia, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, Down syndrome and other related issues. The caregiver fills out an application and meets with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. The person is outfitted with a bracelet. A transmitter, receiver, antenna and headphones are kept in an onsite home or office.
“This gentleman was found safe,” says Lieutenant Dustin Morrison, “but it underscores a unique program that may be helpful to many in Pennington County. Project Lifesaver can make all the difference in finding an at-risk person who wanders away.”
PCSO Volunteers change batteries every six weeks. The monitoring device is typically worn on the person’s ankle. Currently the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office has two sets of volunteers who oversee 14 units. A total of 18 units are available.