Frequently Asked Questions

BECOMING A MEMBER

The Project Lifesaver Program is run at a municipality level by a community’s public safety agencies. Eligible agencies include Sheriff’s Offices, Police Departments, Fire Departments, Search and Rescue, Assisted Living Facilities, and Nursing Homes. These entities, and others similar, can join Project Lifesaver, and offer the program to those in need.
An agency must submit a Letter of Intent on their organizational letterhead to Project Lifesaver International Operations and Training. A sample Letter of Intent is located on the “Become a Member Agency” page located on our website. The average cost for an agency to join ranges from $4,100-$4,920 excluding instructor travel expenses. For additional information on how to join Project Lifesaver, you can call our toll-free number at 1-877-580-LIFE.
We strive to keep our costs as low as possible to allow every agency the opportunity to participate so that they can offer the program to their community. There is no yearly membership fee for an agency joining Project Lifesaver.
Most agencies joining Project Lifesaver have enjoyed much success by appealing to the community, i.e., civic, fraternal and service clubs. Also, many businesses and hospitals have assisted agencies in starting. From time-to-time, there are grant opportunities available from Project Lifesaver. Write or call us for information about whether a grant is currently available. Contact Chief Paul Ballance at pballance@projectlifesaver.org, or call our toll-free number at 1-877-580-LIFE.
Once we receive your letter of intent and Operational Agreement, we will select the instructors that will train your agency or organization. The instructor will contact you to work out the training dates. The Basic Operator Course can handle up to seven attendees and is a two day course. The Instructor Course is a one day course and can handle seven that successfully completed the Basic Course. This is a train the trainer course and will allow these officers to teach within their agency to certify new officers or re-certify existing officers on Project Lifesaver.
You can contact our office and request a Project Lifesaver Information packet. We can email you the electronic version of the packet, or mail you a hard copy. Review the information then pass it on to the agency you are talking to. Have the agency contact us and we will send them additional information and our new agency start-up cost sheet.
Since 1999, Project Lifesaver has had one thing in mind: protecting those that wander. Our program is specifically designed for those with conditions that lead to wandering, such as Autism, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and many more. The program was structured in a way that strategically combines state of the art locating technologies, innovative search and rescue methods, and community policing courses that educate first responders about cognitive conditions. These practices allow for efficient and safe rescues when a loved one wanders away from their home or caregiver, while not being invasive. This gives caregivers and loved ones peace-of-mind and freedom. Unlike our competitors, we are a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit. We are a program, not a product. Project Lifesaver cares deeply for the special needs community and does not intend to make safety a matter of finances, location, or otherwise. This article serves to clear up some common misconceptions and questions about Project Lifesaver International. Battery Life: Project Lifesaver offers two kinds of transmitters, a 30 day and 60 day. This means the battery needs to be changed every 30 days or 60 days, with daily battery checks to ensure peak performance. We have not opted for a 6-month battery, as we believe a “set it and forget it” mentality leads to equipment malfunctions and missed community connections. Reliability/Distance: While it is true that the distance RF transmitters can be picked up is less than GPS, it is far more reliable when pinpointing the location of a missing individual. Dense materials, tall buildings, large/rough terrain, and large trees can block or reduce GPS signal strength and may make it impossible to determine a location. Cost: The Project Lifesaver program is often funded through grants, sponsorships, and donations. Through this, many of our agencies offer PLI bracelets to clients for free. If an agency decides to charge any fees, they are often minimal or a one-time fee. This is significantly less than our competitors, who implement annual contracts and recurring monthly fees. Sensory Inclusivity: At Project Lifesaver, we strive to be aware and inclusive of sensory needs. That is why we offer different band sizes, materials, and textures. These are worn 24/7, except when taken off by a public safety official to change the battery. Constant wear allows for the individual to become accustomed to the feeling of the bracelet. Public Safety Involvement: Public safety agencies should be specially trained to interact with individuals with cognitive conditions. Doing so provides public safety agencies with the added knowledge to have positive and safe encounters. Products that omit this vital part are placing an unnecessary barrier between public safety agencies and the communities they serve. To summarize, Project Lifesaver is a program, not a product, that uses time-tested radio frequency technology to provide families peace-of-mind that their loved ones can be found if they wander. By implementing community involvement, public safety agencies, and specific training, Project Lifesaver will continue to bring loved ones home.

ENROLLING A LOVED ONE

If you are interested in enrolling a loved one in the program, and you know of a Project Lifesaver agency in your area, please call them directly as they will have the pricing information and local contacts for your area to help get you started and enroll your loved one on the program. To locate the Project Lifesaver agency that serves your area, select “Find an Agency” and you can search by zip/postal code. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to call us via or toll-free number at 1-877-580-LIFE. A member of our friendly staff will be glad to assist.
Enrollment costs vary by agency. Please contact your local agency for information specific to your area.
Project Lifesaver has multiple layers of protection for caregivers to choose from to protect their loved ones. The caregiver can select the best option for their particular situation. The PLI-1000 Personal Location System and the Project Lifesaver Home Safety Kit are both available for purchase through the Project Lifesaver Store on our website. Information on each of these devices is also located on our website under the “Locating Technology” tab.
We would like to say there is a 100% guarantee; however, there is no such thing, regardless of the technology or method utilized. It must always be remembered you are dealing with people and each situation will be different. Project Lifesaver does have the most successful record in the world. This has been accomplished through a combination of training, specialized methods & procedures, and the latest technology which is tested often in real world situations. The best protection is to have trained personnel with the latest equipment available, respond and conduct these searches. The success record of this approach speaks for itself.

EQUIPMENT

Project Lifesaver is a pro-active “program” that encompasses many areas to enhance rescue probabilities; it is not just about the equipment. Project Lifesaver will not sell the equipment without the necessary training and support that goes with the program. We strongly discourage any attempts to use this equipment without the benefit of significant training, to do so, only encourages liability and inadequate protection.
All equipment used by Project Lifesaver members and their clients must be purchased through Project Lifesaver. In addition, all documents, logos, signs, procedures, and training are lawfully copyrighted and trademarked. Project Lifesaver members benefit by receiving support and superior equipment that is tested and approved. Project Lifesaver is the only practical choice for agencies wanting to provide proven and reliable protection for citizens. All equipment used in conjunction with the program must be approved by Project Lifesaver. This means if a family acquires an “other than approved” transmitter from any sources outside of Project Lifesaver, it cannot be used in the program. The public safety agency may be liable should that transmitter fail and we will not be liable for any other equipment provided by any other source than Project Lifesaver.
We are constantly testing new equipment, and researching technology fields for the most reliable equipment. Project Lifesaver International staff tests the equipment and if approved, it is then tested by select member agencies. Only equipment passing the selection process will be available to our members.
Equipment is ordered online through the PLS Portal (www.pliportal.org). Ordering through the PLS Portal is very easy: select the desired items, place them in your cart, and check out. Once you submit your order, you will receive confirmation and your order will be processed. You can also view the status of the order through the database.
We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Checks, Cashier Checks, Money Orders, and PayPal. All types of payments can be used when purchasing though the Project Lifesaver Stores on our website and through the PLS Database. For registered law enforcement agencies purchasing equipment or merchandise through our secure PLS Database Purchase Orders will also be accepted. If you need assistance, you can talk to one of our friendly staff via our toll-free number at 1-877-580-LIFE.
The best way to fix a stuck transmitter cap is to prevent one from happening. The O-ring lubricant included with the transmitter package is the best way to prevent the case cap from becoming stuck. Lubricating the O-ring when you first get the transmitter and every time the battery is changed can prevent the case cap from getting stuck. If the case cap cannot be removed using the provided key, the PLI Coordinator for the agency can open a support ticket in the PLIPORTAL and a member of the Project Lifesaver team will respond with instructions for mailing the transmitter to Project Lifesaver’s Chesapeake Office.