COLONIE – Project LifeSaver lived up to it’s name.
According to Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple Sr., on Saturday, Jan. 21, an autistic 25-year-old climbed out a window at his Broderick Street home and was reported missing by his family at 2:12 a.m.
The individual and family are clients of the sheriff’s Project LifeSaver Program, however, and he was located just 18 minutes after the call.
Project LifeSaver is an international program for people living with autism, Alzheimer’s or other cognitive disorders or traumatic brain injuries that may make them prone to wander. The person wears a nonintrusive, watch-sized FM transmitter on his or her wrist or ankle and its signal is monitored by local law enforcement, in this case the Albany County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team.
Working with the Colonie Police Department, the team located the individual about a half mile from his home on Locust Park wearing only his pajamas.
It is believed, due to the cold temperatures, he made entry into a home in the hopes of getting warm. The temperature was about 39 degrees in Albany at that time, according to the National Weather Service.
“The quick response by everyone involved prevented a potentially dangerous situation and demonstrated that, along with good police work, the Project LifeSaver Program works,” Apple said in a statement.
Clients and families enrolled in Project LifeSaver train on a monthly basis to get updates on equipment and exchange any pertinent information with law enforcement.
It is a free service offered only with a refundable deposit on equipment if the family can afford it.
If you know someone who could benefit from the program, contact the Sheriff’s Office at 720-8023 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.