By Courtney Pigman
WILLIAMSON – Mingo County Emergency Management (MCEM) is seeking fifteen applicants to participate in a Project Lifesaver International (PLI) course on Nov. 20 and 21 at the Chattaroy Volunteer Fire Department.
According to the PLI website, “PLI is a non- profit organization, the first to apply tracking technology for the search and rescue of individuals with cognitive disorders, and have remained the leader, the Gold Standard, in this field for over 17 years.
On Nov. 20, a lecture will take place from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. Field service training will take place on Nov. 21 from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.
The course is open to all first responder organizations and other eligible applicants. Those interested in participating in the PLI course should contact MCEM at 304-235-0895. Upon completion of the course, those trained will be able to “provide timely response to save lives and reduce potential injury for adults and children who wander due to Alzheimer’s, autism and other related conditions or disorders.”
“Citizens enrolled in Project Lifesaver wear a small personal transmitter around the wrist or ankle that emits an individualized tracking signal. If an enrolled client goes missing, the caregiver notifies their local Project Lifesaver agency, and a trained emergency team responds to the wanderer’s area. Most who wander are found within a few miles from home and search times have been reduced from hours and days to minutes. Recovery times for PLI clients average 30 minutes which is 95 percent less time than standard operations,” the website explains.
The website continues stating, “The task of searching for wandering or lost individuals with Alzheimer’s, autism, Down syndrome, dementia or other cognitive conditions is a growing and serious responsibility. Without effective procedures or equipment, searches can involve multiple agencies, hundreds of officers, countless man hours and thousands of dollars. More importantly, because time is of the essence, every minute lost increases the risk of a tragic outcome.”
Currently, six citizens in Mingo County are receiving PLI services. Doug Goolsby, Mingo County Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security said, “ This service is free for clients and the community. We are doing everything we can to keep this service free for our residents.”
To find out if your loved one is eligible contact MCEM at 304-235-0895.
For more information about PLI visit www.projectlifesaver.org.
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected], or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2279.)