MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. – If you have a loved one with a disability that makes it more likely for them to wander off, Project Lifesaver is working to give you some peace of mind.
Lieutenant Tom Sorrell with the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office is one of the deputies in charge of the Project Lifesaver Program.
He says when they get a call saying someone is missing, if they have a Project Lifesaver transmitter on their ankle or wrist then they know they can find them much quicker than normal.
“We respond to the scene and we start tracking. We can track with Project Lifesaver 5,000… for a maximum of about a mile,” said Sorrell.
Sorrell says the average human can travel four miles in just one hour. Which means it could be anywhere from hours, to days before deputies can find the missing person.
However, Sorrell says with Project Lifesaver they can typically find someone in less than 30 minutes.
Chelsea Truett is a mother of two, and her seven-year-old daughter is autistic. She says her daughter, Kayliegh wandered away from home one day, and when she called the police the first thing they asked her was if her daughter had a Project Lifesaver transmitter.
She said she didn’t know about Project Lifesaver until then, but once they found Kayleigh safe, she knew they needed Project Lifesaver. “She really enjoys the world and she enjoys people and so because of that she has no problem walking off and exploring her world,” said Truett.
Now, Project Lifesaver helps Truett worry a little less.
“This allows us to have more comfort to know, okay, if something happens were not just helpless, we have a plan in place,” said Truett.
Truett says Project Lifesaver works across the nation, so no matter where they travel they can know Police are ready to help -quickly- if needed.
The transmitters are free for families who need them, but they cost $275 each for the sheriff’s office to purchase. The receivers are over $1,200 each.
The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office only has one working receiver, which means when they get a call for a missing person, they have to go back to the sheriff’s office, get the receiver and then go to the scene.
They would like eight receivers one day to speed up the process.
As of today, the sheriff’s office only has one more transmitter, but they’re hoping that with more donations and funding they can get more transmitters and receivers to give more families that peace of mind.
Because of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office will have 3 new transmitters within the next month.
If you’d like to donate to Project Lifesaver you can call the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office at (256) 582-2034.