Humanitarian Award

Project Lifesaver Founder & CEO Jarvis E “Gene” Saunders, is being Honored by The People of Distinction Humanitarian Award as an Unsung Hero


(Port St. Lucie, FL 08/30/2016) The People of Distinction of Humanitarian Awards (PDHA) is honoring our very own CEO Gene Saunders on Tuesday September 13th on Capitol Hill at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC. During the event he will be taking the podium to speak in honor of his hard work and dedication to Project Lifesaver.


Saunders founded Project Lifesaver in October of 1998, while working with the Chesapeake, VA Police Department. He is a retired Captain commanding Special Operations and SWAT, and Chief of Search and Rescue for the Chesapeake Virginia Sheriff’s Office. Project Lifesaver International is a 501(C) (3) non-profit organization that was the first to apply locating technology for the search and rescue of individuals with cognitive disorders such as Autism or Alzheimer’s disease. The rate of these disorders have steadily increased over the past 17 years since the program has started, therefore it is imperative that proper measures are followed to ensure that we are “bringing loved ones home.” Project Lifesaver is now in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and six provinces throughout Canada with over 1,526 agencies. Project Lifesaver has a 100 percent success rate and has done 3,174 rescues to date (08/25/2016). These individuals gain more than just a locating program for their families, they gain peace of mind that their family members are protected and in the event of an emergency will be rescued and brought home safely.


With 17 years of dedicated service to this program founder Chief Saunders has been recognized numerous times for his remarkable dedication and service to Project Lifesaver International.


Along with Chief Saunders, other well deserved unsung heroes are being recognized for their hard work and dedication. Donna Belle is the founder of Bringing Home America. They are a non-profit organization that specializes in people who are homeless due to addiction, PTSD, and other social issues. She has dedicated her life to helping those in need. Her mission is to transform the inner city and low income areas into well-established neighborhoods.


Another award winner is Rob Wittman a 4 time re-elected Virginia Congressman in the House of Representatives. He is well known for his dedication to the people and helping people in need. Rob is an orphan that was inspired to co-sponsor the “Protecting Adopted Child Act”.  The act is a way of helping adopted children to be protected from harm.


It takes more than a great idea to help those in need. It takes action and commitment. A true humanitarian appreciates their acknowledgement and uses it to continue their dedication by inspiring others to do good as well.


About Project Lifesaver:

Project Lifesaver is a 501 (C) (3) community based, public safety, non-profit organization that provides law enforcement, fire/rescue, other first responders and caregivers with equipment and training to quickly locate and rescue individuals with cognitive disorders who are prone to the life threatening behavior of wandering, including those with Alzheimer’s disease, Autism, and Down syndrome. To date Project Lifesaver agencies have conducted over 3,174 successful rescues. Most who wander are found within a few miles from home, and search times have been reduced from hours and days to minutes. Recovery times for Project Lifesaver clients average 30 minutes — 95% less time than standard operations. Project Lifesaver is in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and six provinces throughout Canada and in Australia with over 1,526 agencies


Project Lifesaver is also a subject matter expert and adviser on the wandering issue for:

  • Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer’s disease (LEAD)
  • National Center for Missing & Exploited Children,
  • International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)
  • Alzheimer’s Foundation of America
  • National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA)
  • National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners
  • International Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners


For more information or to learn more about Project Lifesaver visit:

Or contact:

Joseph Salenetri
Assistant Chief, Special Operations
Project Lifesaver International
Tiffany McGuffin
Public Relations Media Coordinator
Project Lifesaver International
772-446-1714 Ext: 1272