Project Lifesaver

Project LifesaverThe Lino Lakes Public Safety Department began utilizing the rapid response lifesaver program, Project Lifesaver International (PLI), in January 2014. Project Lifesaver is focused on individuals who wander (or are at risk to wander) and do not have the cognitive ability to ask for help, do not know they need help, or will not ask for help. Many individuals enrolled in Project Lifesaver live with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, Alzheimer's disease, or Down's syndrome. The service however is available to others with conditions causing wandering. This program has an initial startup cost and a yearly expense to resupply batteries and bands but no monthly fees. The program is available to Lino Lakes residents only, however, if you live close and/or your child attends school or daycare in Lino Lakes, these situations may be evaluated on a case by case basis and we would be happy to discuss options with you.

Benefits of the Program

TransmitterSearching for wandering or lost individuals with special needs or other cognitive conditions is a growing and serious responsibility, one that may include the efforts of many agencies, individuals, and resources. A search may involve many hours of work by law enforcement and volunteers and the emotional stress on family members is high. Without effective procedures and equipment, searches can involve multiple agencies, hundreds of officers and volunteers, countless man-hours and thousands of dollars. Thankfully, Project Lifesaver International has the capacity to cut average search times by more than 90% to an average of 30 minutes. Every minute saved makes a difference.

How It Works

Using Scanning EquipmentIndividuals enrolled in Project Lifesaver wear a small personal transmitter, approximately the size of a smartwatch, around their wrist or ankle, which emits an individualized FM signal. Unlike GPS units that need to be removed to be charged, this technology remains on the client at all times, ensuring they are never without their transmitter. Each program participant is assigned to an officer trained in the Project Lifesaver International program. Once per month the officer makes contact with the participant to inspect their equipment, change their transmitter battery and replace the band used to secure the transmitter. Several different colors are available for the bands and the transmitter case. Caregivers are required to check the transmitter daily to ensure it has power. If an enrolled participant goes missing, the caregiver notifies the Lino Lakes Public Safety Department and a trained emergency team will respond to the participant's last known location. Most individuals who wander are located very near their last known location. Search times have been reduced from hours and days to minutes for Project Lifesaver clients.

The Enrollment Process

To enroll someone in the Project Lifesaver Program, please follow these steps:

  • Contact Officer Dan Thill 
  • Complete the Application / Contract
    Your application will be reviewed and you will be contacted by an officer to complete the enrollment process which includes completing a client/participant profile. Project Lifesaver is a voluntary program. In order to qualify, the participant must:
    • Live in Lino Lakes;
    • Be diagnosed by a certified physician with Autism, brain disorders, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, or another special need / cognitive condition; and
    • Be known to wander away from caregivers.
  • In order to participate, caregivers must agree to assume the following responsibilities:
    • Test the participant's radio transmitter battery daily;
    • Check the condition of the bracelet daily;
    • Maintain a monthly log sheet provided by the Lino Lakes Public Safety Department
    • Notify the Lino Lakes Public Safety Department promptly of any problems with the equipment
    • Most importantly, call 911 immediately if a Project Lifesaver participant goes missing!

Program Costs and Aid 

The program does have equipment/supply costs, but the Lino Lakes Public Safety Department does not charge a fee beyond the cost of those supplies. The initial startup cost purchases the transmitter, case, related maintenance supplies, and one year of batteries and bands. Each year thereafter, the ongoing cost is only to purchase new batteries and bands. Cost can be discussed with an officer and financial aid may be available if needed.

Donating Funds to Project Lifesaver Program 

Tax-deductible donations are accepted to aid in providing the program to those who may not have the financial resources to participate. Donated funds may also be used toward training new officers as search specialists. If you would like to make a donation please contact us. 

Contact Information 

If you have questions or would like to sign up for Project Lifesaver International through the Lino Lakes Public Safety Department, please contact Officer Dan Thill.