Crews from Across Virginia Gather for Project Lifesaver Training - - ABC13

Crews from Across Virginia Gather for Project Lifesaver Training


Lynchburg, VA- Crews from eight localities across the state were in Lynchburg Tuesday to learn how Project Lifesaver works. It was a part of recertification training for the program, and folks from Spotsylvania, Pittsylvania, and Franklin Counties, along with Buchanan, Radford and Lynchburg were there for the class.

When the non-profit Project Lifesaver started 14 years ago in Chesapeake, its main goal was to help locate people with Alzheimer's who wandered away from home and got lost. Now, after a proven success rate, the system is being used in a wider range of cases, all across the U.S. And at Tuesday's training session at Riverside Park, we saw how this program really lives up to its name.

"It's radio telemetry tracking, RF tracking…Dial in the frequency of that transmitter, pick up a signal, and locate them before they go into harm's way," said Tommy Carter, Chief of Operations for Project Lifesaver.

"Once you have the frequency pushed in, coded in, you just listen for that little chirping sound," said Cpl. Keith Sandidge with the Lynchburg Sheriff's Office.

Trainers hid transmitters in the park, then crews spread out and covered ground quickly in hopes of finding them first. After two quick finds, taking only minutes each, it was time to really put these teams to the test.

Next it was our turn to lead the crews on the hunt. Off we went, searching for the perfect hiding place. We tried to make things difficult for them. We were near a chain link fence, which can actually mess with their signal a little bit. And, we were behind some brush. But despite our best efforts, just six and a half minutes later, they found us. Proving just how valuable Project Lifesaver could be.

"If everybody had one of these transmitters there would be a perfect world," said Sandidge.

Carter tells us they have had 2,760 searches nationwide, and have a 100% success rate. Their average search time is 30 minutes.

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