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  • Writer's pictureJoe Lyons

October 24th and 25th, 2023: Project Lifesaver Training by Ashland County Sheriff's Office

(Pictures are at the bottom of this page)

CORRECTION MADE: ******All 10 of the Lions Clubs in Ashland County support this program with funds and volunteers. The support money raised by the Lions is held by their 13B Philanthropic Fund.*****

Are you familiar with Project Lifesaver? This innovative system has been making a difference in locating individuals with certain disabilities who tend to wander and get lost. The Ashland County Sheriff's Office is committed to providing this essential service to the community, with a recent training session taking place on October 24th and 25th, 2023. Let's take a closer look at the impact of Project Lifesaver and how it benefits Ashland County residents.

A Lifeline for Those in Need

Project Lifesaver is a national service designed to assist individuals with disabilities such as Alzheimer's and Autism who have a tendency to wander. Ashland County recognizes the importance of this system and has actively participated in it since 2016. Initially, the Sheriff's Office had four operators, but due to various reasons, the number dwindled down to just one.

Fortunately, all 10 of the Lions Clubs in Ashland County stepped in to support this vital initiative and is being held by their 13B Philanthropic Fund. They generously donated the funds necessary to train additional deputies, resulting in seven volunteers receiving both classroom and practical training. With these new recruits, the number of operators has now increased to eight, ensuring the continued success of Project Lifesaver within Ashland County.

A Regional Network of Support

Ashland County is not alone in undertaking this crucial effort. Project Lifesaver is utilized by multiple counties in Ohio, as well as neighboring states. Lieutenant Randy Wood, from the Ashland County Sheriff's Office, spearheads this program and ensures that the deputies are well-prepared to handle any situation that may arise.

Thus far, Ashland County Sheriff's Office Deputies have been successful in locating clients whenever they are called into action. Thankfully, the number of calls for service has been relatively rare, but the Sheriff's Office acknowledges the importance of being ready to respond swiftly. When it comes to locating a missing individual, time is of the essence and can make all the difference in life-saving efforts.

The Evening Lions Club: An Invaluable Partner

All 10 of the Lions Clubs in Ashland County has been an instrumental partner in the implementation of Project Lifesaver in Ashland County. They play a critical role in maintaining the equipment required for this system, such as the transmitter and batteries. Additionally, they regularly check in with the clients, offering support and ensuring their well-being.

Should you wish to obtain more information about Project Lifesaver or express interest in this service, do not hesitate to reach out to the Ashland County Sheriff's Office at 419-289-3911. Lieutenant Wood and his team will gladly provide you with the necessary details and address any queries you may have.

Expert Trainer: Ron Schnittker

Project Lifesaver training in Ashland County was expertly conducted by Ron Schnittker. Having previously worked as a coordinator and instructor for Erie County's Project Lifesaver program, Ron retired from the Erie County Sheriff's Office to pursue his passion on a national scale. As a certified national trainer, he imparts his knowledge to agencies new to Project Lifesaver or those seeking to update and renew their protocols.

The Power of Project Lifesaver

Project Lifesaver originated in Chesapeake, Virginia in 1999 and has since expanded throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia. The program's success is evident through the over 4,200 searches conducted to date, with all clients located, most within just 30 minutes of the search commencing.

The technology behind Project Lifesaver is simple yet effective. Clients wear a small transmitter on their wrist or ankle, which emits a unique radio frequency. The Ashland County Sheriff's Office, equipped with a receiver, can program and track the location of each individual transmitter. Depending on environmental conditions, the receiver can detect signals up to a mile away, surpassing the limitations of GPS tracking systems that can be hindered by signal loss.

To ensure that tracking remains possible in all kinds of settings, including buildings, parking garages, and dense wooded areas, Project Lifesaver utilizes transmitter technology that remains reliable regardless of external factors.

In conclusion, the Ashland County Sheriff's Office's commitment to Project Lifesaver exemplifies their dedication to serving and protecting the community. The collaboration with all 10 of the Lions Clubs in Ashland County, and the recent training session on October 24th and 25th, 2023, ensures that there are sufficient operators who are ready to respond promptly in the event of an emergency. The success of Project Lifesaver in Ashland County is a testament to its effectiveness in safeguarding individuals with wandering tendencies, providing peace of mind to their families and loved ones.

So, remember, if you have any questions or want to learn more about Project Lifesaver, reach out to Lt. Wood at the Ashland County Sheriff's Office. Together, let's continue to make a difference in the lives of those who need our support and protection.


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