The Greenville City Fire Department (GCFD) is partnering with Bon Secours St. Francis Health System on an initiative to launch Project Lifesaver in the city of Greenville. Bon Secours St. Francis provided $20,000 toward the program, which provides GCFD, the Greenville Police Department (GPD) and caregivers equipment and training to quickly locate and rescue individuals with cognitive disorders who are prone to the life threatening behavior of wandering, including those with Alzheimer’s disease, Autism and Down Syndrome.
Participants in the program would receive a Project Lifesaver kit, which comes with a small transmitter and battery that can be attached to a person with a bracelet or anklet. The device emits a unique signal 24 hours a day. Once someone enrolled in the Project Lifesaver program gets lost, caregivers can call 911 and provide a unique frequency number that is sent to a team of trained emergency responders. The Project Lifesaver responders are equipped with receivers that emit audible signals that indicate the proximity of the missing person's transmitter.
As a result of the work of Project Lifesaver, search times have been reduced from hours and days to minutes. According to Will Broscious, GCFD’s Community Risk Reduction & Education Coordinator, nationally, the average recovery time for a person using the Project Lifesaver system is 30 minutes, which is 95% faster than standard operations. “We are grateful to Bon Secours St. Francis Health System for partnering with us to help bring such an important program to the city of Greenville," said Broscious. "The program will be instrumental in keeping the most vulnerable members of the community safe.”
“We at Bon Secours St. Francis Health System understand that ministry is done best in collaboration with other organizations to meet the needs of the Greenville community. We are honored to partner with the Greenville City Fire Department to bring this needed technology to our area,” said Alex Garvey, Senior Vice President of Mission at Bon Secours St. Francis.
The Bon Secours St. Francis donation will enable GCFD to purchase 30 transmitters and four tracking devices. Additionally, program funding will help pay for the City's one-time membership fee for the program, personnel training for GCFD and GPD and instruction for families and caregivers on the maintenance of the wearable locating technology. Eligible participants will receive the device and one year's worth of batteries at no charge. Caregivers may enroll on behalf of individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia, Down Syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other brain injuries or conditions.
Information regarding enrollment details will be available online once program training has been completed. Visit greenvillesc.gov or the City’s social media for updates.