Sheriff's Office Receives Donation for Project Lifesaver


December 20, 2013

Sheriff Stacey Kincaid and Ed Donohue hold a ceremonial check from Virginia Wireless Association.

The Virginia Wireless Association has donated $3,000 to the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office for its Project Lifesaver program. The program serves the needs of children on the autism spectrum and adults with cognitive impairments who may wander away from their caregivers.

"We look for worthy projects that let us establish a long-term relationship and show that wireless can be a part of everyday lives," said Ed Donohue, president of the Virginia Wireless Association. "Project Lifesaver, which focuses on the young and the elderly, allows our association the opportunity to support local programs that, like the wireless industry, seek to improve public safety."

Project Lifesaver clients wear a wrist or ankle band that emits a silent tracking signal. When caregivers notify the Sheriff’s Office that a client is missing, specially-trained sheriff’s deputies respond to the area with state-of-the-art tracking equipment. The program currently has 48 clients with 31 more on the waiting list.

Costs for Project Lifesaver include the transmitters for each client; the wrist or ankle band to which the transmitter is attached; the battery for each transmitter, which must be changed every 30 days; and the receiver that the Sheriff’s Office uses to track the transmitter’s signal.

"Project Lifesaver is 100 percent funded by donations," said Sheriff Stacey Kincaid. "We are very grateful for the support of organizations like the Virginia Wireless Association that help us purchase new or updated equipment so that we can better serve our existing clients and support more from the waiting list."

The Sheriff’s Office is exploring the creation of a full-time position to lead the program. "Project Lifesaver is currently managed by two deputies who have other full-time responsibilities," said Kincaid. "With a dedicated position, we could train more of our staff on program protocol, focus on recruiting volunteers from the community to assist with battery changes, proactively develop partnerships with businesses and organizations and serve a greater number of clients."

For more information about Project Lifesaver, please go to www.fairfaxcounty.gov/sheriff/lifesaver.htm.


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