Project Lifesaver

Our mission is to provide signal transmitters to individuals with neurological disorders, such as autism and Alzheimer’s, which allows us to quickly locate those who have wandered or become lost and return them to safety.

What is Project Lifesaver?

Project Lifesaver has completed hundreds of successful search & rescue missions nationwide for wandering victims of Alzheimer’s disease, autism, Down syndrome and related neurological type disorders. Clients are fitted with a personalized bracelet about the size of a large watch. Embedded in the bracelet is a small radio transmitter. When caregivers notify 911 that a person is missing, a search and rescue team responds to the wanderer’s area and starts searching with the mobile locater system.

The Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office has teamed up with the Alzheimer’s Association and the Jefferson Area Board for Aging to find people who need this technology and get it to them quickly and cost-effectively. Project Lifesaver is the only program which is based upon an exclusive partnership with local Sheriff’s, Police, Fire and other public safety agencies to train and equip them to accomplish this critical life saving mission. The project was initiated in 1999 in Hampton Roads, and was specifically created to find people who wander. Seventy percent of Alzheimer’s patients are likely to wander at some point in their lives. There is a small cost for the bracelet and transmitter, as well as a $10 monthly fee for battery replacement.

The Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office is working to provide “scholarships” for those with limited funds who can benefit from the project. Project Lifesaver relies on state-of-the-art technology and a specially trained search and rescue team. The Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office has the only search and rescue team in our area with this technology. This may be the single most important service provided in our community to families with loved one who have the likelihood to wander away from home.
The personalized tracking bracelets can be obtained from the Albemarle County Sheriff's Office. Please route your questions through the “Contact Us” section of this website.

Facts Project Lifesaver is the nation’s most effective program for locating and rescuing missing Alzheimer patients. Project Lifesaver has had a 100% recovery rate Project Lifesaver’s active radio device saves time over passive ID bracelets, which in turn saves lives Project Lifesaver’s FM radio frequency equipment is the most reliable and practical technology available in locating the missing and wandering Members of Project Lifesaver teams are trained in methods to communicate with a person who has Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder.

Tom Payne

Project Life Saver-Project Manager

Deputy Sheriff-Albemarle County Sheriff Office
Operational Lieutenant-Reserve Division

Sixteen Years of Volunteer Service in Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office Reserve Division; Project Life Saver Instructor, Certified Law Enforcement Officer; Certified Civil Process and Courtroom Security Officer; Department of Criminal Justice Services General Instructor; Search and Rescue Instructor; Search and Rescue Assistant Incident Commander, Field Team Leader, and Operational Manager.
Personal Information:
Commonwealth of Virginia, Senior Deputy State Fire Marshal, Regional Fire Protection Engineer, and Building and Fire Official.

J. E. "Chip" Harding

Albemarle Sheriff's Office
411 E. High Street Bldg "B"
Charlottesville, Va 22902