News Releases

Missing Person Located with Help of Project Lifesaver

July 10, 2024

A North Bay woman living with dementia who was reported missing from her assisted living facility was quickly located safely thanks to the use of Project Lifesaver.

On July 8, 2024, the North Bay Police Service and BAYSAR Air Search and Rescue were contacted about a resident who had gone missing from an assisted living facility. Staff reported to police that the resident, a woman in her 90s who lives with dementia, had gone missing at approximately 11:30 a.m. Members of the North Bay Police Service and BAYSAR were dispatched to locate her. Luckily, the woman was a participant in Project Lifesaver and was equipped with a Project Lifesaver locator. A signal for the locator was found at 12:07 p.m. and the missing person was safely located by 12:15 p.m. by members of BAYSAR. In total, it took approximately 45 minutes to safely locate the missing person from the time she was reported missing to police.

“This is another excellent example showing just how valuable a tool Project Lifesaver is for police. Thanks to Project Lifesaver and our partners at BAYSAR, we are able to quickly locate vulnerable people who have been reported lost or missing in our community”, said North Bay Police Inspector of Operations, Jeff Warner. “I encourage anyone with a vulnerable family member or loved one who could go missing to join Project Lifesaver as soon as you can.”

"This Project Lifesaver rescue is a good demonstration of best practice for integrating specially trained volunteers into police search and rescue operations,” said Stan French, President of BAYSAR. “North Bay can be justifiably proud of how the NBPS have effectively utilized the Project Lifesaver technology in combination with the volunteers of BAYSAR. This was a real team effort."

Background

The North Bay Police Service began their partnership with BAYSAR Air Search and Rescue as part of Project Lifesaver in November 2020. Project Lifesaver is intended to provide a timely response to save lives and reduce potential injury for adults and children with a propensity to wander due to cognitive conditions.

Project Lifesaver works by providing clients with a small radio transmitter worn on their ankle or wrist. Each transmitter transmits a unique radio frequency pulse once per second, 24 hours a day. Properly maintained, the transmitter is waterproof for showers, bathing, and swimming. With the unique frequency recorded in the police database, along with other Vulnerable Person information, if a client is reported missing the police and BAYSAR are fully prepared to use Project Lifesaver receivers to quickly find the client. The average search time to find a missing person enrolled in Project Lifesaver is 30 minutes.

Anyone with a family member they think would benefit from Project Lifesaver can receive a referral for the program through the Alzheimer Society, One Kids Place, or by emailing BAYSAR directly at [email protected] or by visiting www.baysar.net.