Project Lifesaver: 'Something we could do to help these people'

      EUGENE, Ore. - When a person with health problems disappears, the stakes are literally life or death.

      "A gentleman went missing who had Alzheimer's," said John Miller, coordinator for the Lane County Sheriff's search and rescue. "He was never found until it was way too late for him, and he was deceased out there, and that kind of left an impression and planted a seed like, 'Gee, I wish there was something we could do to help these people.'"

      The Project Lifesaver program is geared towards the families and caretakers of people with Alzheimer's, autism and other conditions.

      The program reports that participants with the device are found 95 percent faster than those who go missing without the technology.

      So how does it work?

      "One part is the transmitter that goes on the client or the subject," said Brent Hottle with Lane County Search and Rescue. "The other part is the receiver, which is similar to what people do in gametracking."

      The transmitter allows searchers to find the location where the person wandered.

      Search and rescue said that although this may not be a cure, it's one tool.

      They work with clients monthly to change the battery in the wristband and to check up on them.

      You can learn more about Project Lifesaver by calling (541) 682-4369.