© 2024 WXPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Project Lifesaver on its way to Gogebic and Iron counties

Lockheed Martin / Gogebic Iron Project Lifesaver Facebook

Six in 10 people with dementia will wander off at least once, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Many do so repeatedly.

This can be especially dangerous for people who live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where cold winter temperatures quickly become life threatening.

“We have a highly forested area too, which is very easy to get lost in the woods,” says Gogebic County Sheriff Ross Solberg.

Solberg spearheaded an effort to bring Project Lifesaver to Gogebic and Iron Counties.

The program provides wristband transmitters to people with autism or dementia who are prone to wander off. It also trains local law enforcement on how to interact with people who have cognitive disabilities.

“Project Lifesaver doesn’t only aid search and rescue for law enforcement. There’s more to it than that,” says Sheriff Solberg. “It actually trains law enforcement in awareness for autism or down syndrome, and how to talk to people who are on the autism spectrum or have down syndrome.”

The Sheriff’s Office has raised about half of the project’s projected $20,000 cost.

Solberg says that money includes a start-up fee, the cost of training and money to purchase at least 30 wristband transmitters.

“Our goal is that any family that is in need of a transmitter or would like to request a transmitter, it doesn’t get paid for by the family, that we help fund it through our program,” Sheriff Solberg says.

He expects training for officers in the program to begin by the end of August.

Erin Gottsacker worked at WXPR as a Morning Edition host and reporter from December 2020 to January 2023. During her time at the station, Erin reported on the issues that matter most in the Northwoods.
Up North Updates
* indicates required
Related Content