Charter Communications employees present a $3,000 check to the Shelby County Sheriff's Office that will be used for Project Lifesaver. (Reporter Photo/Stephanie Brumfield)
Charter Communications employees present a $3,000 check to the Shelby County Sheriff's Office to be used for Project Lifesaver. (Reporter Photo/Stephanie Brumfield)

Charter donates $3,000 to Project Lifesaver

Published 10:10am Friday, December 20, 2013

By STEPHANIE BRUMFIELD / By Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – Charter Communications presented a check for $3,000 to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Dec. 17, money that will be used to support the Project Lifesaver program in Shelby County.

Project Lifesaver is an international program that partners with local law enforcement agencies to help track missing persons such as children with Down syndrome or autism and elderly family members with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Lt. Jeff Sciascia, who oversees the program for the Sheriff’s Office, said participants in the program are given a one-ounce, battery-operated wristband that transmits radio signals at different frequencies for each participant. Whereas GPS signals require a line of sight to the sky for tracking, radio signals can be tracked anywhere, anytime, Sciascia said.

“It’s designed for that backup piece of mind,” he said.

Since 2005, the year the Sheriff’s Office began offering the program, 48 clients have participated and 20 successful searches have been conducted, a 100 percent success rate. Nationally, more than 2,400 successful searches have been conducted through Project Lifesaver.

Sheriff Chris Curry said 30 minutes is the average time it takes to locate an individual using Project Lifesaver and said the program is vital t the community.

“I’ve been on a lot of searches for people for various reasons, bad guys, lost children, lost seniors, things of that nature,” Curry said. “When I saw this and thought about all that manpower, all those hours, all that time that we could spend searching for someone, if we had this device on, we’d narrow it down so dramatically.

“It doesn’t take very long for an elderly person to be overcome by the conditions, by weather conditions or something of that nature,” Curry added. “You save a life the faster you’re able to locate them and get them back in a safe environment.”

Curry also said his office is able to provide the service at no cost to the community because of donations from companies like Charter.

“I appreciate very much (Charter’s) service to us, reaching out and making this funding available, because we’re going to turn right around and make this funding available to families here in Shelby County,” Curry said. “It will be greatly appreciated.”

Patti Michel, director of regional communications for charter, said the company wanted to give back to the community where many of its employees work and live.

“We’re just so glad that we’re able to facilitate this donation to your community,” Michel said. “We’re a part of the fabric and want to make sure we’re not just providing service but we are living and working and supporting our community as well.”

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