Member Statement – Project Lifesaver Implemented in Saskatoon
Ms. Chartier: — Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This past January, Saskatoon Search and Rescue launched Project Lifesaver in this city. Project Lifesaver first started in Virginia in 1999 as a community-based non-profit to help law enforcement, fire and rescue, and caregivers quickly locate individuals with cognitive disorders. It is now an international organization with similar agencies across the United States and in six provinces in Canada. Mr. Speaker, Project Lifesaver uses radio frequency technology that has been proven to reduce the time in which it takes to locate individuals. Clients enrolled in Project Lifesaver wear a small transmitter on their wrist or ankle that emits an individualized frequency signal. When an enrolled client goes missing, the caregiver notifies the local police or Project Lifesaver agency, and a trained emergency team responds to the wanderer’s area. Recovery times for Project Lifesaver agencies average 30 minutes, which is 95 per cent less time than standard operations without Project Lifesaver. Saskatoon Search and Rescue saw the success other jurisdictions were having with Project Lifesaver and realized there was a need for this kind of tool here. Over the past four years, the search and rescue organization has averaged 15 to 20 calls for their involvement per year, and three-quarters of those calls involved individuals with cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s, dementia, and autism. With the help of donors and professional volunteers, the new program is up and running, and on February 24th, 2018, Project Lifesaver Saskatoon signed up its first clients. Mr. Speaker, I would ask members to join me in congratulating Saskatoon Search and Rescue on implementing this program in Saskatoon and for doing this important work. Thank you.