PALM SPRINGS – It looks like a watch. It could pass even for a bracelet. But this beeping device can save your lifeor someone you love.
It’s known as “Project Lifesaver.”
“The police are able to monitor people with a radar if they were to wander away,” explains Jeanne Reller-Brownstein, administrator of a Palm Springs assisted living facility known as The Windsor.
Reller-Brownstein knows too well how senior citizens who have dementia or Alzheimer’s may wander away. Three of her residents wear the device.
“Our job is to keep and secure our residents here. But, things happen. We’re all human, and things happen,” she says.
The Citizens on Patrol (COP), a volunteer subsidiary of the Palm Springs Police Department, handles Project Lifesaver. They say about 60 people in Palm Springs go missing every year and conducting a search every time can be exhausting.
“The search might go on for a day or so, and it’s a very costly affair,” says Bill Johnson, a COP member for 13 years. “And, of course, the families are very affected and very anxious over a lost person.”
Over 1,000 agencies nationally have Project Lifesaver; 22 agencies in California. But, this is the first time the project has existed in Riverside County. COP says they can locate a person wearing the device within one mile on the ground and up to 12 miles in the air.
COP says the device’s success rate in determining a person’s location is 100%.
The Agua Caliente Indian tribe gave Project Lifesaver its jump start. The tribe donated $7,000 to get the project off the ground and an additional $3,000 to purchase additional devices.
COP encourages more families to take advantage of Project Lifesaver. They assure News Channel 3 that there are enough devices for everyone who applies for one.
Project Lifesaver is turning out to be the extra protection that does not miss a beep.