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Project Lifesaver saving lives for those with dementia and other issues

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Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 8:56 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Project Lifesaver is making a huge difference for people on the Suncoast. “It gives me the peace of mind that I can’t get with anything else,” said Samantha Sulfaro, a North Port resident.

Sulfaro says her 6-year-old son John is autistic and wears a special bracelet. If he goes missing he can be found immediately.

“He’s not verbal in the most literal sense,” said Sulfaro. “He can’t tell you if he’s hurt or if he’s lost, so it’s the only way to find him.”

Project Lifesaver features a wristband that sends a signal to law enforcement. Each person is assigned their own frequency.

“If the person wandered away from home, we would be called out,” said Officer Danny Robbins with the Sarasota Police Department. “And then we have equipment that we can program that radio frequency into our receiver for the police officer to locate the client.”

Many local law enforcement agencies use it; Sarasota Police have had Project Lifesaver since 2007. There are currently 51 people signed up for this in Sarasota County. Since 2018, there have been nine survival stories.

“We’ve seen our elderly population rise, also what we’re seeing our autistic populations that are rising in numbers,” said Robbins. “So we service all the people that are here that need assistance.”

This service is free of charge. To find out if you qualify for Project Lifesaver, you can call the Sarasota Police Department.

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