DICKINSON COUNTY, Mich. (WJMN) – A search and rescue tool available in multiple U.P. counties will expand into Dickinson County in the new year. According to the Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office, Project Lifesaver will begin use in the county in February 2023.

Project Lifesaver is a non-profit organization that provides law enforcement, fire and rescue, and caregivers with a technology and training to find people with cognitive disorders like Down Syndrome or Alzheimer’s that can cause them to wander, potentially putting them in life-threatening danger. The electronic tools help first responders to streamline search and rescue procedures.

The tool uses a monitoring device, worn as a bracelet, that transmits a signal that is heard by receivers utilized by local law enforcement. The receivers can be used in police vehicles, attached to a drone or carried on foot.

A trained representative from a participating agency meets with the client and caregiver periodically to ensure proper maintenance of equipment and replace batteries and bands. Clients’ records and profiles will be kept at the Sheriff’s Office Central Dispatch for quick access for those responding.

The Iron Mountain Police Department, Kingsford Public Safety and Norway Police Department will be becoming Associate Members to assist in the program along with board members Amy Brunswick and Shelby Merckx. Training for local departments will be in January and the program is anticipated to start at the beginning of February 2023.

Anyone interested in signing up for the program can pick up an application at any of the local police agencies in Dickinson County and submit for approval prior to the project’s implementation.

The program was helped in coming to the Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office through support from the 100 Plus Women’s Club. With the club’s donation, the sheriff’s office says there will be no cost to the participants of the program for as long as funding levels remain sufficient. Anyone else interested in donating to the project can contact Undersheriff Rochon at the Sheriff’s Office for further information.

Project Lifesaver was initially instituted in the UP in partnership between sheriff’s offices in Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties. It has since expanded to Gogebic and Iron counties as well.

You can read more about the program here.