Program offers personalized wristband to help locate at-risk people who may wander

PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) – A new tracking device is now available for Mercer County residents that could help save lives during a crisis.

The Mercer County Sheriff’s department has partnered with Project Lifesaver to locate at-risk people who may wander. The Project Lifesaver program has a record of 2,500 rescues, the average elapsed time to find a missing person is under 30 minutes.

“30 minutes, that’s nationwide. Some searches may take ten minutes, some searches may take an hour and ten minutes, but the average is ten minutes,” said Assistant Chief Gary Reynolds.

People who are enrolled in the Project Lifesaver program will wear a personalized wristband that emits a tracking signal on an individually assigned FM radiofrequency.

“Right now, we’re still trying to get the funding for the transmitters. We have funding for several right now, approximately three to four, and we’re looking to get anywhere from 15 to 20 to start up. That is the amount of interest that I have received so far,” said Lieutenant J.J. Ruble, from Mercer County Sheriff’s Department.

Members of the Project Lifesaver team are specially trained, not only in the use of the electronic tracking equipment but especially in the methods to communicate with a person who has special needs.

“They have to recertify every two years to ensure that they know how to operate the equipment and the equipment is working and so forth. He can certify him and vice versa, But They have to do every two years of certification,” said Reynolds.

For additional information, or if you would like to donate to help keep the cost affordable, please contact Lieutenant J.J. Ruble at the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department.