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Project Lifesaver


When children or adults afflicted with autism spectrum disorders, Down’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other memory-related illnesses wander from the safety of their caregivers, your Sheriff’s Office is called to action.

Because of the outstanding involvement and cooperation of Lions Clubs throughout Erie County, local law enforcement agencies and the Sheriff’s Office have another great tool to help us find and rescue your loved ones more quickly with the Project Lifesaver program.   A search that previously may have taken days can now be successfully concluded quickly—potentially saving lives and thousands of taxpayer dollars.

DSCN0133.jpgProject Lifesaver clients will receive a plastic bracelet containing a water-resistant radio transmitter.   Each participant’s transmitter is assigned a radio frequency that is unique both to them and their geographical area.   The bracelets may be worn on the client’s wrist or ankle.

When a Project Lifesaver client is discovered to be missing, the caregiver reports the situation to the Sheriff’s Office or other local law enforcement agency via the Erie County 911 system.   Trained deputy sheriffs or local law enforcement officers will respond to search for the missing Project Lifesaver client using the program’s radio frequency tracking receivers.

Project Lifesaver is a voluntary program. 

 In order to qualify for the program, the potential client must:

  • Reside in Erie County.   (Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis if a prospective client lives in close geographical proximity to Erie County, and the prospective’ client’s local Sheriff’s Office or other local law enforcement agency does not participate in Project Lifesaver); and
  • Be diagnosed by a certified physician as afflicted with Autism spectrum disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other cognitive disorder that could cause the potential client to wander from his or her caregiver; and
  • Be known to wander from his or her caregiver, or the potential client’s behavior causes the caregiver to believe that the potential client will wander in the future.

In order to have a client enrolled in the program, the client’s caregiver must agree to the following responsibilities:

  • Testing of the client’s radio transmitter on a daily basis; and
  • Payment of a $10.00 monthly fee for replacement batteries for the transmitter (this fee may be waived if proof of income is shown that the client’s caregiver is unable to afford this fee); and
  • Checking the condition of the radio transmitter bracelet on a daily basis; and
  • Maintenance of any required records as provided by the local Project Lifesaver team; and
  • Notifying the Erie County Sheriff’s Office if any problems are noted with the equipment; and
  • Immediately notifying the Erie County Sheriff’s Office or any applicable local law enforcement agency if a Project Lifesaver client is discovered missing.

For more information, or to enroll an individual in the Erie County Project Lifesaver program, please contact Pam Straziuso at 419-271-6844, or by e-mail at straziusoteacher@aol.com

Donating funds to Project Lifesaver.
There are costs associated with participating in the Project Lifesaver program.   Donations are needed to supply bracelets and to provide financial support for those that do not have the financial resources to participate in the program, but who have loved ones who could benefit from program participation.  

To learn how you or your organization can become involved in our program as a sponsor, please call Mike Karniotis at 419-366-5567 or by e-mail at ekarniotis@bex.net.

Donations are tax deductible and can be mailed to the Sandusky Lions Blind Fund/Project Lifesaver.