SCSO safely locates missing elderly resident

Published 2:31 pm Thursday, December 15, 2016


VINCENT – At about 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 14, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office was notified by 911 that an 80-year-old family member was missing from a residence on Bates Road near the City of Vincent.

This resident was a member of the “Project Lifesaver” program, so specially trained Shelby County deputies, along with the Sheriff’s aviation unit, responded to the area where he was last seen and activated the “Project Lifesaver” system.

The area was rural and in northeast Shelby County near the Coosa River. “Project Lifesaver” equipment led deputies straight to the resident, approximately two miles from the last known location in a heavily wooded area near the river.
Shelby County Sheriff John Samaniego thanked everyone who helped in the search and rescue operation, as well as those who made the program possible.

“Yesterday, we had another success story as a result of law enforcement partnerships, the public’s support and Project Lifesaver. Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies, local police officers, firemen and many other groups come together when a loved one wanders off and, with the help of Project Lifesaver, are able to locate the missing loved one,” Samaniego wrote in a release. “It is also important to recognize the Shelby County Commission, private companies and local residents who have continued to help in funding this program. It takes support at every level and we are lucky to have that.”
Project Lifesaver International was founded by public safety officers themselves, to bring about a solution that facilitates not just the speedy return of wanderers to their families, but the actual rapid location of the wanderers themselves — a strategy that greatly increases the chance that the wanderer will be found alive.

“Project Lifesaver” team members are specially trained deputies who place personalized wrist bands containing radio transmitters on individuals who suffer from debilitating disease or autism to locate them should they wander away from home.

Search times for those participating in the program have been reduced from hours and days to minutes. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office has been an active participant in this program since 2005.