Project Lifesaver Helps to Find Missing Loved Ones

It’s not uncommon for elderly individuals or people with cognitive disabilities to wander off or get lost due to confusion. When the person can’t be found by their family or friends, panic often ensues. Depending on the situation, locating the missing person can take hours or even days. 

That’s all changing with Project Lifesaver. Since 1999, Project Lifesaver has been working to provide first responders tools to locate missing or wandering individuals. The mission of the project is to reduce recovery times using innovative tools — often reducing recovery time to an average of 30 minutes. 

The program is available in fire stations across the state of Indiana and beyond, and works with families in communities all across Indianapolis and surrounding areas. Children and adults with cognitive disorders, elderly individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, and people with other disorders can all benefit from the program. 

How Project Lifesaver Works

People in the Project Lifesaver program wear a personalized ankle or wrist bracelet that contains a transmitter. In the event that they become missing, first responders across the state have been trained to use the radio frequency tools to locate them quickly. The battery in the bracelet is changed every 60 days or so, and maintained through a partnership with the fire department. 

New Developments 

In 2020, Project Lifesaver unveiled new technology, the PLI STAR System. The bracelets are now available with the basic radio frequency and also GPS capability. The GPS function allows for more precise locations and gives rescuers a visual instead of audible only. 

Earlier this summer, Project Lifesaver International was named the winner of a Silver Stevie Award for Organization of the Year in the non-profit category. 

In 2021, hundreds gathered for the Annual Project Lifesaver Conference and learned more about updated technology, the importance of dementia and Alzheimer patience utilizing the program and more. 

Get Involved

If you have a loved one you believe could benefit from the Project Lifesaver program, visit your local fire department website and apply. The service is free, sponsored by local businesses and organizations. For more information, visit or your local fire department website. 

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