Project Lifesaver

What is Project Lifesaver?

Project Lifesaver is a rapid response program that saves lives and reduces potential injury by quickly locating adults and children who wander due to Alzheimer’s Syndrome, Autism, Down Syndrome, dementia and other conditions with cognitive impairment.

The primary mission of Project Lifesaver is to provide timely response to save lives and reduce potential injury for adults and children with the propensity to wander due to a cognitive condition.

Who can enroll?

An adult or child who meets all of the following criteria:

  • Lives in O’Brien County or Sioux County
  • Is known to wander away from caregivers
  • Please contact O’Brien County EMA to learn more information about the enrollment process, transmitter expense, and requirements of the caregiver.  Phone: 712-757-4305   Email:

How does it work?

Clients enrolled in Project Lifesaver wear a small personal transmitter around their wrist or ankle that emits a specific FM radio frequency which can be located by Electronic Search Specialists during an incident, using special equipment. If the client goes missing, the caregiver notifies the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office or the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office and a trained search team responds to the wanderer’s last known area.

Project Lifesaver History

Project Lifesaver was established in April 1999 as an initiative of the 43rd Search and Rescue Company of the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office. Project Lifesaver’s mission is to use state of the art technology in assisting those who care for victims of Alzheimer’s and other developmental disabilities and victims who become lost. These victims include the elderly and even the youngest in our community who are afflicted with Down Syndrome and Autism. Clients with developmental disabilities tend to wander from their homes. Project Lifesaver places personalized radio transmitters on identified persons with developmental disabilities. These transmitters assist caregivers and local emergency agencies in locating those who cannot help themselves.

Project Lifesaver Website

Caregiver Responsibilities

  • Purchase the transmitter kit for client (Please contact O’Brien County EMA for more information over transmitter expenses).  Phone: 712-757-4305  Email:
  • Test the client’s transmitter at least once daily.
  • Check the condition of the transmitter strap daily.
  • Maintain a monthly log sheet of battery and strap condition.
  • Notify the Sheriff’s Office promptly if there is a problem with the Project Lifesaver equipment.
  • Most importantly, immediately call 911 if the client wanders

Project Lifesaver materials

Project Lifesaver materials

Project Lifesaver