Columbia County Sheriff’s deputies locate missing man with aid of Project Lifesaver

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NEW LEBANON – Columbia County Sheriff’s personnel located an elderly man, who is enrolled in Project Lifesaver, after he wandered away from his home in New Lebanon last Friday morning. He was found that afternoon.
The sheriff’s office was alerted to the missing man around 1:21 p.m. on June 29 after State Police were assigned by Columbia County 911 to respond to his residence. A family member arrived home and found the man gone, which prompted her to call 911.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to the area preparing their tracking equipment. An external antenna was mounted on the roof of the patrol vehicles to pick up the radio wave and a search was conducted starting from his home.
During the search, Sheriff David Bartlett and Undersheriff John Davi picked up his signal several miles south of his home. He was located on foot about one-quarter mile off the main road in a wooded area.
As a precaution due to the warm day, Chatham Rescue Squad evaluated the man and it appeared he was in good health, so he was returned home.
Project Lifesaver is a rapid response program that aids victims (and their families) who wander as a result of Alzheimer’s, Autism, Down Syndrome or Dementia. It uses state-of-the-art technology and specifically trained deputies to locate those who have wandered and may be lost or otherwise in peril. The person is outfitted with a wristband that emits radio signals that can be constantly tracked.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office has been participating in the program since 2009.
Project Lifesaver is provided to county residents in a partnership between the sheriff’s office, county Office for the Aging and the Taconic Developmental Disabilities Services Office, which is a regional office of the state Office of Mental retardation and Developmental Disabilities.
For those with Autism, Down syndrome or other qualifying diagnosis served by the Taconic Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities, call 845-473-5050 and ask for the Project Lifesaver coordinator.
For those with Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia or other cognitive impairments, call the County Office for the Aging at 518-828-4258 and ask for the Project Life coordinator.
For additional information on how to enroll, call the sheriff’s office at 518-828-3344 and ask to speak to the Project Life coordinator.