Sheriff Bratton Helps Sponsor Project Lifesaver


    On Tuesday, August 23, 2005 Sheriff Robert Bratton announced the Ottawa County Sheriffs Office will help sponsor Project Lifesaver for residents of Ottawa County. That announcement was made during a news conference at H. B. Magruder Hospital.  The project is being lead by the Port Clinton Lions Club with help from St.Vincent-University Medical Center-St.Rita's Life-Flight, H. B. Magruder Hospital and Ottawa County Senior Resources.


Port Clinton Lion President Ray Krofft

and Project Lifesaver Chairperson Denice Day



What is Project Lifesaver?


    Project Lifesaver is an innovative rapid response program aiding victims and families suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders such as Down Syndrome and Autism. By forming partnerships with local law enforcement and public safety organizations, Project Lifesaver deploys specially trained teams with the most reliable technology available to quickly locate and return wandering adults and children to their families and caregivers.

How Project Lifesaver Works

    Project Lifesaver relies on proven radio technology and a specially trained search and rescue team.  Clients that are enrolled in  the Project Lifesaver program wear a personalized wristband that emits a tracking signal.  When caregivers notify the local Project Lifesaver agency that the person is missing, a search and rescue team responds to the wanderer's area and starts searching with the mobile locater tracking system.  Search times have been reduced from hours and days to minutes. In over 1000 searches, there have been no reported serious injuries or deaths. Recovery times average less than 30 minutes.

    Seventeen counties in Ohio (mostly Southern Ohio) have adopted Project Lifesaver. Those counties include Miami, Montgomery, Clark, Franklin, Ross (first in Ohio) Scioto, Jackson, Gallia, Meigs, Athens, Hocking, Morgan, Washington, Noble, Muskingum, Tuscarawas and Coshocton. Ottawa County is the first in Northwest Ohio to become involved in this project.

Facts on Alzheimer's disease from the World Health Organization        

    It is estimated that there are currently about 18 million people worldwide with Alzheimer's disease.  This figure is projected to nearly double by 2025 to 34 million.  Much of this increase will be in the developing countries, and will be due to the ageing population.  Currently, more than 50% of people with Alzheimer's disease live in developing countries and by 2025, this will be over 70%.

    Ottawa County has an estimated 650 people with Alzheimer’s Disease and is the 6th highest county in the state for elderly population.

How Project Lifesaver Saves Lives & Community Resources

    In Pittsylvania County, Virginia, a 45 year-old man suffering from a traumatic brain injury became lost and disoriented.  A deputy sheriff specially trained and equipped by Project Lifesaver was able to locate the man 1.5 miles from his home within 20 minutes. A traditional search without Project Lifesaver would have normally involved the time (and expense to the taxpayers) of up to 264 searchers and 924 man-hours.

    In Chatham, Virginia an 80 year-old woman with Alzheimer’s disease wandered from her home at night. The family contacted Project Lifesaver upon learning she was missing. Two Sheriff’s vehicles equipped with Project Lifesaver equipment arrived on the scene and located the woman laying in a tobacco field.  She had wandered into the field, fell, and could not get up. She was found covered with mud. Rescuers reported that a person standing up to 10 ft away would not have noticed that a person was laying there. The helpless woman could have died if not located by Project Lifesaver.

    A 79 year-old man with Alzheimer’s left his house in Chesapeake, Virginia driving his truck and could not find his way back home. After searching the neighborhood, a police helicopter was called in with a Project Lifesaver team and equipment.  In just 35 minutes, the helicopter located the man using the signal transmitted from his bracelet. He was found 14 miles from his home. Before joining Project Lifesaver, he wandered off and was missing 2½ days.

Project Lifesaver's Most Recent Searches

How Ottawa County Began Project Lifesaver

    The project began in early August of 2005 when the Port Clinton Lions Club organized a meeting with all the sponsors and a presentation by a representative of Project Lifesaver. After hearing that presentation the sponsors felt this was a very worthwhile project to offer the residents of Ottawa County. Additional research was done and a second meeting was held on August 23rd.


Receiver and Wristband



    To begin the project St.Vincent-University Medical Center and St.Rita's Life Flight has made an initial purchase of equipment totaling approximately $10,000.00. That money provides radio receivers used in conjunction with the radio transmitter wristbands. Ten wristbands, at $300.00 per unit, are being purchased by Magruder Hospital for the start-up for the project, and another five are being purchased by the Port Clinton Post 113 of the American Legion. Donations will be accepted that will allow the purchase of additional wristbands.

How the Ottawa County Project Will WORK

    When a person wearing one of these wristbands wanders away from home, that person can be located by using the receivers that are part of the project. That persons caregiver should call 911 and the proper emergency responders will be dispatched. The receivers will allow emergency responders to triangulate the location of the person and help get him or her home quickly and safely. The receivers, which will be located at the Ottawa County Sheriffs Office, may be used by crews on the ground or in the air. If there is a need to use a receiver from the air, a receiver will be used from a Life-Flight helicopter in the air to cover a larger area more quickly. Life-Flight crews in the air will co-ordinate search efforts with crews on the ground.


    A total of $125.00 is due prior to receiving the transmitter. The first monthly rental charge covers a deposit of $100 to guarantee returned of the transmitter, as well as the first month service / maintenance charge of $25.00. If the transmitter is lost or rendered inoperable by abuse or neglect, you must pay the balance of the unit’s cost, and additional $187 to be billed to you on report of loss or damage. (The total cost of the transmitter is $287.00) You will be charged $25 monthly for service  / maintenance each month you have the Project Lifesaver / Care Trak transmitter. If the transmitter is returned without abuse or neglect the $100 deposit will be refunded.


    The initial payment may be made by cash or personal check made payable to Project Lifesaver, P.O.Box 117, Port Clinton, Ohio 43452.


For a complete copy of the rental agreement click on the link below:

Project Lifesaver Equipment Rental Agreement

    All equipment associated with Project Lifesaver is considered a piece of Durable Medical Equipment and therefore will not be covered by any insurance, such as Medicaid or Medicare.  However it can be considered a deduction off your taxes as a Durable Medical Equipment.


    To enroll in the project and obtain a wristband an application must be completed. That may be done by downloading an application and returning it by mail or fax, or by completing the on-line application. Once the application is received an appointment will be made for a home visit within five working days. The representative making the home visit will complete a 'Client Data Questionnaire', and if the applicant is found to meet the requirements a wristband will be provided at that time.

Project Lifesaver Client Data Questionnaire may be downloaded by clicking on the link below:

Project Lifesaver Client Data Questionnaire

Ottawa County Project Lifesaver Application

To download, click on APPLICATION to open. (PDF file)

Applications may be mailed to:

Port Clinton Lions Club, P.O.Box 117, Port Clinton, Ohio 43452

or faxed to:

Ottawa County Sheriffs Office at  (419) 734-6876 (Fax)


Use our On-Line Application Form (Click on link below)



Questions may be referred to:

Chairperson Denice Day (419) 797-4586 or e-mail at



    The wristband is secured around the persons wrist and can not come off. Each has its own frequency to distinguish it from others. The battery inside will power the unit for approximately forty-five days. To insure the batteries are changed on a regular basis a deputy from the Ottawa County Sheriffs Reserve Unit will visit each subscriber once a month and provide a new battery. 

Sponsors of the project are:

(Click on their logo for more information about these organizations)

For more information on Project Lifesaver click on the link below:

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Updated December13, 2008