Defying the Odds: Here’s to the next 20 Years of Advancements

If I were to tell you the history of Project Lifesaver – the real, nitty-gritty details of this organization, it very well may shock you that we even still exist. Now, I won’t get into the specifics, because honestly, that needs a much larger platform than this blog, but what I can say is that there have been multiple acts against Project Lifesaver in the last two decades that were meant to break us; knock us to our knees, and strip us of our ability to continue bringing loved ones home. To be completely frank, some days it truly amazes me that we are still standing.

However, through growth and resilience, we will defy the odds. In fact, we already have.

Despite these attacks, Project Lifesaver has only grown stronger and fueled by anger, hope, and love, our ability to help safeguard the most vulnerable among us has never faltered. We took what was supposed to ruin us, and instead learned very valuable lessons and forged ahead.

One of the most important aspects of our work as we moved forward, was the continued advancements to our practices. We sought equipment upgrades and better defined our techniques. Project Lifesaver is continually moving forward – for it is when we grow complacent in our practices that a mistake is more likely to be made. Therefore, there is no room in this organization for complacency because we literally hold the safety of so many lives in our hands.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

 – Maya Angelou

Just a few short weeks ago, at the Project Lifesaver 20th Anniversary Conference, we unveiled not only new technology but a new partnership in which we think has a great potential to be game-changers for our organization and program.

The PLI STAR System

Designed by Loen Engineering exclusively for Project Lifesaver International, the PLI STAR Systems encompasses both RF and GPS capabilities – a technology that has never been seen before!

There are four major components of the PLI STAR System:

  1. The STAR Bracelet, worn by the client. There are 2 options available, one with just basic radio functionality, and another that includes both radio and GPS. What is most intriguing about this component is that it is solar-powered!
  2. The Loen Finder App. First responders utilize this free app to initiate a search, and it will act as the interface to communicate to the searchers the data being retrieved by any of the STAR receivers. The strength of the radio signal and approximate distance, as well as a map of the generalized area, will be displayed on the interface. When available, the app will switch to a GPS functionality which will map and display a more precise location of the individual and distance from the searcher’s location. The app is both iOS and Android compatible.
  3. The STAR Finder. Unlike our current equipment, the STAR System utilizes visual location instead of audible. Rather than the chirp we have all grown to love on our current systems, the STAR Finder gives directional cues through LED lights shown on the device. When paired with the smartphone app, this finder provides information we have not previously had access to with other systems. This system has a range of approximately 1 mile within an urban environment.
  4. The STAR Air. Quite possibly our most favored component, the STAR Air is comprised of a directional Yagi antenna attached to a DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise. The exceptionally lightweight payload does not affect flight performance or battery life of the aircraft, and what we expect to be most exciting, the antenna can operate simultaneously with the camera! Signal strength will be displayed on the live video display on the DJI Flight Controller. While training with this device last summer, we were able to receive a signal at a range of 7 miles, while only flying 50-100 feet in the air!

The all-new PLI STAR System will be launched as a pilot technology by the Western Australia Police Force at the implementation of their Project Lifesaver program!

While initial testing of the new system was very promising, the launch of this technology in Australia is an opportune time to gather real-circumstance data on the system to ensure it fully meets the standards of our operations.

Additional pilot launches will be available upon the receipt of our final FCC certifications.

The Vitals App

According to VitalsAware Services, the Vitals™ App enables safer community interactions by allowing individuals with visible and invisible conditions and disabilities to create and share a personalized digital profile with authorized first responders via a secure, mobile app – improving real-time communication, reducing the risk of misunderstandings, and promoting greater independence.

The idea behind our partnership is to provide a more comprehensive plan to safeguard our clients. While Project Lifesaver technologies would allow first responders to locate a lost individual, the Vitals technology would focus on and enable safe interactions between the first responders and the client upon successfully locating them.

Learn more about how our technologies will work together:

The personalized profiles, which will display relevant information to first responders in proximity to your loved one, are free for caregivers to create, and there are many different low-cost beacon options to chose from!

Project Lifesaver member agencies, new and existing, will have the chance to get started with the Vitals™ App at a discounted rate… Ask us how to get started!