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Chatty Belle - The World's Largest Talking Cow

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 -- 11:25 am
Posted by Riley Hebert-News Director

A service that’s already helped locate hundreds of people with cognitive disabilities who have wandered away is now available in Clark County.

The Clark County Emergency Services Association announced Monday that Project Lifesaver is now an option here. Those enrolled with the program will wear a transmitter unit that emits a radio frequency signal. Emergency responders are being trained to use special receivers, which will help track those signals.

Jim Backus of the Emergency Services Association says many county residents, including those with autism, dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, are at risk of wandering.

"The average search for a missing person is approximately 9 hours," Backus says. "that's without Project Lifesaver. Currently, there have been over 2,000 saves with Project Lifesaver and 100% have been found alive."

A 9-hour search is not only dangerous for the wanderer, but also very costly for law enforcement agencies.

Those interested in signing up loved ones can contact the Clark County Sheriff’s Department. There is a one-time enrollment fee of $99, but the Emergency Services Association will cover that charge. There is also a $30 monthly fee.

"Each month, you'll receive a new band and battery, so a person from the emergency services group will go to the residence and change the battery and band," he says.

There are over one dozen state counties enrolled in the program, most are located here in central Wisconsin.

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