Our first member’s meeting guest speaker for the year was W. Mason Copeland. Mason is a Lieutenant assigned to the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Bureau. Lt. Mason also became one of our chapter’s newest members as he was sworn in at the meeting.
During Lt. Copeland’s presentation he discussed the Joint Search and Rescue Team training exercise, conducted last October, that utilized our chapter’s park property for part of the scenario. He also discussed his role and responsibilities with the Suffolk Fire Department, as a member of our areas Joint Search and Rescue Team (JSRT) and as the Project Life Saver Coordinator.
As a member of the JSRT he has been involved with several joint training sessions. One of the tools the JSRT utilizes is a ” Project Life Saver” bracelet and tracking device. The Project Life Saver Program is a national program that was originally designed to aid in locating Alzheimer patients who become disoriented and lost. Alzheimer patient’s behavior is not predictable and therefore it is difficult to locate them if they become lost. The Project Life Saver Program utilizes a bracelet worn by the patient and an associated tracking device that homes in on a signal produced by the bracelet. Using the bracelet and tracking device greatly improves the ability to locate patients and much more quickly. With an effective range of 1 to 1.5 miles, the system can be utilized by searchers on the ground, personnel in moving vehicles and in helicopters.
Based on the effectiveness of the system it has been applied to children and patients with conditions in addition to Alzheimer’s that may result in them wandering off or becoming lost. Lt. Copeland demonstrated the tracking device and it’s effectiveness as seen in the adjacent photograph. If you are interested in more information about the Project Life Saver Program you can contact Lt. Copeland at (757)-514-4545.