ECTOR COUNTY, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – ‘Project Lifesaver’ is a service offered by the Ector County Sheriff’s Office.
It comes at no cost to residents who use it.
“My husband has dementia and he disappeared on me…” said one woman featured in a promotional video of ECSO’s free service.
Tracking technology is used in the search-and-rescue efforts for loved ones. The transmitter device is worn like a bracelet. The device is no larger than a wristwatch.
Clients of the service ‘Project Lifesaver’ are often families with loved ones who have cognitive brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, even traumatic brain injuries.
“We left the back gate open in our backyard and he did run off down the alley,” said Melissa Gamboa, who used the service to safely locate her son. “Sure enough, he was found three blocks away.”
Since the program’s inception in 2006, in partnership with the Pilot Club of Odessa, there has been a 100% success rate in safely recovering missing persons.
If a loved one is missing, there is no need to wait a designated amount of time either before calling into the Sheriff’s Office.
“They can call us, we’ll go out and find those people,” said Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis.
Once a caretaker notifies the Sheriff’s Office about the missing person, a rescue team is immediately dispatched to the last known location of the person.
When time is a critical factor, ‘Project Lifesaver’ touts a 30 minute average time to safely locate a loved one.
“It’s a great program and it’s free. Free to the public,” Sheriff Griffis said. “We’d like to get those people back home.”