Project Lifesaver helps find wandering loved ones – fast


By Savannah Correll

Boone County is among a growing number of agencies joining Project Lifesaver, a program designed to quickly locate people of all ages with medical conditions that might cause them to wander off and become lost.

Project Lifesaver clients are given a transmitter, which is securely attached to the ankle or wrist like a bracelet. Should the person wander, locating them is simply a matter of calling 911 and mentioning their last known location. From there, an emergency response team will track the unique transmitter frequency to their location and bring them home.

Steve Gilliam, EMS division chief for the Zionsville Fire department, said that the ultimate goal of Project Lifesaver is “to minimize the search time to find a loved one who may tend to wander due to medical conditions.”

Although the program has not had to be activated yet in Boone County, nationwide search times for Project Lifesaver clients average about 30 minutes, which is 95 percent faster than standard searches, according to the program’s website. More than 1,400 agencies in 48 states are involved in the program.

In Boone County, the program costs $360 for a year’s worth of transmitters and batteries, which must be replaced monthly. To learn more about the program and how to sign up, email