Amber with Ottawa County Sheriff Steve Levorchick.
Project Lifesaver is an active response to the problem of locating people who may not be able to find their way home before they become victims. A lost person with dementia or a developmental disability is unaware of his or her situation; they do not call out for help and do not respond to people calling out to them. Almost 50% of the missing and wandering will perish if they are not located within 24 hours.
With a Project Lifesaver transmitter, the average rescue time is less than 30 minutes. The signal can be tracked over several miles on the ground by the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office or from the air by Life Flight helicopters.
Amber was five years old, non-verbal and autistic when she wandered away from her grandparents. Fortunately she was found unharmed an hour later two miles away. Her grandparents then learned about Project Lifesaver, sponsored by the Port Clinton Lions Club. That was eight years ago. Amber was the first person to use Project Lifesaver in Ottawa County.
Project Lifesaver was first made available to residents of Ottawa County in 2005 when the Lions Club joined forces with the sheriff’s department. There are now six county agencies involved, which include the Lions Club and the Ottawa County Board of Developmental Disabilities (OCBDD). Currently they provide 18 transmitters to residents in need with the help of grants awarded for the last two years by the Ottawa County Community Foundation.
For more information on Project Lifesaver, please contact Carolyne Gilchrist, Lions Club volunteer and project coordinator at the OCBDD, 419.898.0400, ext.3133. Carolyne has volunteered her time to Project Lifesaver five days a week since 2011. She is the heart and soul of the project and she is also Amber’s grandmother.