Several Johnson County fire departments, including White River Township Fire Department, joined together to create a county-wide effort to quickly locate missing children and those with cognitive issues. The departments joined the national program, Project Lifesaver, in 2009.


Project Lifesaver: The Facts and the Results

Project Lifesaver is an international not-for-profit organization whose main mission is to use locating technology for the search and rescue of people with cognitive disorders. Formed in 1999, the program has already been responsible for aiding in the rescue of more than 3,000 people nationwide.

The need to safely and quickly locate those in need continues to grow as the facts provided by Project Lifesaver indicates:

  • One in every 68 American children have autism.

  • In a 2011 national autism survey, 50% of parents of children with Autism reported their child had a tendency to wander. Of those families, 50% said that there child was missing long enough to cause significant concern about their safety.

  • Over 5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.  Current statics show that 60% of those with Alzheimer’s disease will wander at some point.

  • With the aid of locating devices, recovery times for finding a Project Lifesaver client averages 30 minutes – 95% less time than the standard operation.


How It Works

Clients are outfitted with a special personalized bracelet that emits a constant signal. Each wristband has a unique radio signal which enables the search team to locate the missing person. If a family member believes that their loved one is at risk for wandering and becoming lost, they can visit the White River Township Fire Department to register with the Project Lifesaver program.  Once the application is approved, the WRTFD firefighters will enter the person into a Project Lifesaver data bank and provide the client with a bracelet at no charge.  

How Much Does Project Lifesaver Cost

The cost of the transmitter and associated monthly maintenance is covered by the operational budget of the sponsoring agency.  There is no cost born by the client or their family.


For other questions or inquiries into Project Lifesaver

Lieutenant Chad Witham

(317) 888-8337, press 7 during message to be connected. 


How to enroll in Project Lifesaver

Fill out the Program Contract and Questionnaire by clicking on the button above. Then email the documents, along with your name, email address and phone number to:

Lieutenant Chad Witham

(317) 888-8337, press 7 during message to be connected. 

Other Participating Agencies

Bargersville Community Fire Department (317) 422-5187

New Whiteland Fire Department (317) 535-4902

Franklin Fire Department (317) 736-3650

Trafalgar Fire Department (317) 878-4291


Project Lifesaver International web site for additional info