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Project Lifesaver is a unique program, run through local law enforcement agencies, that caters to families and caregivers with loved ones who wander. Geared towards wanderers suffering from ailments such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Down Syndrome, Project Lifesaver utilizes a small tracking device to locate a wanderer when they have gone missing.
The Oneida County Project Lifesaver program was the first established in New York State. Oneida County Sheriff’s Deputy Fred Lomanto, the person in charge of the Oneida County program, has trained other counties in the area on the use of the equipment. Allowing for a range of 1.5-2 miles, each transmitter unit consists of a waterproof transmitter case, the transmitting device, a battery, and a wrist band. Project Lifesaver transmitters emit a signal ‐ a traceable frequency ‐ which allows the patient to be found and returned home quickly.
Thanks to this program, Deputy Lomanto’s searches range between just 8 and 30 minutes – a large improvement from traditional search operations. With a simple flip of a switch, he can locate the individual and quickly organize the rescue. Currently, the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department is fortunate enough to have 3 sets of tracking equipment, allowing more officers to respond as necessary. However, the demand is growing rapidly.
Project Lifesaver transmitters are currently spread throughout Oneida County, but there is still a waiting list of more than a dozen people. When devices are unavailable, participants are put on a waiting list until either more equipment is brought in, or the ones in use are released. Unfortunately, the current ratio of clients in need to wristbands is approx. 15:1. Donations for transmitters from local businesses or community members are greatly appreciated, and help to further the program and aid more people in need.
After reading an article about the program in the local newspaper, Mountainside Medical Equipment donated 2 new transmitters to the Oneida County Project Lifesaver program, and are continuing to spread the word to others. Deputy Lomanto is also active in educating others on Project Lifesaver through local civic and healthcare groups, as well as community members in Oneida County. Speaking from experience, his demonstration offers unique insight into the search process and how the equipment is used to help effectively save lives.
To learn more about the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office’s Project Lifesaver Program, visit the Project Lifesaver website, or call (315) 765-2220 to speak with Deputy Fred Lomanto. To make a (tax‐deductible) donation to Project Lifesaver, contact Deputy Lomanto, or mail your donation to:
6065 Judd Road
Oriskany, NY 13424
The successes this initiative has brought to families and individuals are innumerable. Let’s work together to spread the word and help keep this program going!