Natrona County Emergency Management gives a look at Project Lifesaver during locating training

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 6:05 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Project Lifesaver has been operating in the county since 2006. In January, Natrona County Emergency Management was given three locators that aid in searches for missing people.

Natrona County first responders have a 100% success rate in finding lost or runaway children and adults using Project Lifesaver.

“It’s really important that we partner with our local agencies to work together to come together for our community in times of crisis when caregivers and guardians are missing an individual... It’s really important to give them that sense of security, and to reassure them that we’re going to help them find that missing individual,” said Natrona County Sheriff’s Office PIO Kiera Grogan.

The program is free, and aimed at people with cognitive conditions that may make them wander. Guardians or caregivers must work with the NCSO to register. Emergency Management personnel update the batteries and check in with those in the program every 30 to 60 days to make sure the device is working correctly.

While GPS technology has advanced beyond what is used for PLS, NCEM says the devices are more accurate for finding people that may be hiding or not out in the open. People in the program wear a wrist band that emits a personalized radio signal that a locator can be tuned to for tracking, but first responders are not constantly monitoring the signals.

“It is not something that reports your location 24 hours a day, not something that we can check up on, so there’s a lot of security in it for the individuals that are on the program. Then when it’s needed we have the information at the ready that first responders can go out and start searching using the Project Lifesaver,” said Natrona County Emergency Management Deputy Coordinator Michael Cavalier.

The NCSO trains all new employees on how to use the locator to make sure everyone can aid in searches if they are needed. The training allows first responders to learn how the system works, and provides a low-risk setting to practice searching for transmitters.

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