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Project Lifesaver Task Force Locates Two Individuals

Post Date:11/08/2018 4:00 PM

Somerset County Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano has announced the recent successful recovery of two missing and endangered individuals through the efforts of the Sheriff's Office Project Lifesaver Task Force.

A Somerville resident – a Project Lifesaver client who suffers from dementia – wandered off from his residence in the evening hours of Oct. 30. Project Lifesaver Taskforce operators already were responding to help the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office team locate a client – who suffers from autism and who went missing in Franklin Township – when they also were deployed to Somerville.

Under the command of Sheriff's Office Capt. Mark Szczecina, the Project Lifesaver Task Force began their searches using specialized Project Lifesaver locating equipment for both clients. As the officers deployed and spread out across both towns, they were able to detect the missing clients’ unique tracking signals. The officers, who are certified and trained in Project Lifesaver emergency search and rescue, implemented their specialized skill sets and honed in on the clients’ locations.

In under an hour, the officers were able to locate both clients. The Somerset County client was located approximately a quarter mile from his home and the Middlesex County client was located approximately three-quarters of a mile from his residence.

The Middlesex County client received medical treatment at the scene for minor injuries, while the Somerset County client was returned to his residence in good condition and unharmed.

Nationally, the Project Lifesaver program has helped provide thousands of families with peace and mind daily. Throughout the past decade, over 3,300 missing Project Lifesaver clients have been located and reunited with their families. The Somerset County Sheriff's Office has participated in the program since 2003.

“This is a fine example of the value of the Project Lifesaver program,” said Sheriff Provenzano. “It is an outstanding resource for families in Somerset County to utilize for at-risk adults and juveniles. Our Project Lifesaver team of officers are trained and dedicated to providing the best service to our citizens 365 days a year.” 

"Project Lifesaver provides extra support to caregivers and families in order to keep their loved one in the community. These rescues are a demonstration of the excellent teamwork provided by the Somerset County Sheriff's Office, law enforcement, and the Office on Aging and Disability Services," said Aging & Disability Services Executive Director Joanne Fetzko.

Project Lifesaver is a Somerset County emergency-bracelet locating program for residents who suffer from types of dementia, autism and other disabilities that put them at risk of wandering. The program is a partnership of the Sheriff's Office, Office on Aging & Disability Services, and the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Families interested in the Project Lifesaver program may contact the Office on Aging & Disability Services at 1-888-747-1122 for more information.

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