Project Lifesaver Program

The objective of the Chisago County Sheriff's Office Project Lifesaver Program is to provide timely response to save lives and reduce potential injury for children and adults with autism, brain disorders, dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, and other special needs who have a tendency to wander from their places of residency. Their place of residency could be their home, a relative's house, a nursing home or an assisted living center.

Each participant is fitted with a bracelet on their wrist or ankle that transmits a specific frequency. The Chisago County Sheriff's Office uses receivers that can track the frequency in order to locate the participant after they have wandered off. This program has a $5 monthly maintenance fee and is available to Chisago County residents only.

Benefits of the Program

The task of searching 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 and individuals, as well as many hours of searching on the part of law enforcement and volunteers and emotional stress on the part of family members. Without effective procedures and equipment, searches can involve multiple agencies, hundreds of officers, countless man hours and thousands of dollars.

The Project Lifesaver Program has the capacity to cut the average search time by more than 90% to an average of 30 minutes. Every minute saved is a minute that the individual in danger cannot cause harm to themselves or others, and is another minute they are safe in the comfort of their residence.

How It Works

There is a form that must be completed to register an individual as a participant in the Project Lifesaver Program. The form requests disclosure pertaining to physical description, habits, frequented places as well as other useful information that those outside the immediate group of family or friends might not know and can cut down on places where people may search. Once enrolled, the participant will receive and wear a small personal transmitter around their ankle or wrist that emits an individualized tracking signal. If the enrolled participant goes missing, the caregiver or family member notifies the sheriff's office and a trained team responds to the wandering person's area.

Oftentimes, those who wander are found within a few miles of their last location, and search times are reduced from days to minutes. The average recovery time for participants enrolled in the Project Lifesaver Program is 30 minutes or 95% less time than standard search operations.

The Enrollment Process

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

  • Contact the Chisago County Sheriff's Office
  • Complete the Application / Contract

The application will be forwarded to the appropriate persons for review. Following the review, you will be contacted by Chisago County Sheriff's Deputy Scotty Finnegan to complete the process.

Project Lifesaver is a voluntary program. In order to qualify, the participant must:

  • Live in Chisago County;
  • Be diagnosed by a certified physician with autism, brain disorders, dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, or other 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 Chisago County Sheriff's Office
  • Notify the Chisago County Sheriff's Office promptly of any problems with the equipment; and
  • Most importantly, Call 911 immediately if a Project Lifesaver participant goes missing!

Donating Funds to Project Lifesaver Program

There are costs associated with the Project Lifesaver Program (PDF). Donations are needed to supply bracelets and support for those that do not have the financial resources to participate, but need to be protected.

To find out how you or your organization can become involved in our sponsorship program, please call 651-213-6345. Donations are tax deductible and can be mailed to the Chisago County Sheriff's Office.

For more information or to sign up for Project Lifesaver at the Chisago County Sheriff's Office, please email Deputy Scotty Finnegan or call at 651-213-6345.