Emma Carroll, who suffers from dementia and wandered from her home in Groveland July 18, may have yet to be found, but the Bryan County Sheriff’s Department and Bryan County Family Connection are working toward bringing a program to Bryan County that may avoid similar disappearances in the future.
The program is called Project Lifesaver International and involves putting a tracking system in place for applicants suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s, Down syndrome, autism and mental health disorders. The program costs $10,000 to implement, and a grant has been applied for to get it started.
Sheriff Clyde Smith said he is determined to get the program underway, even if the grant falls through. Bryan County Family Connection Coordinator Wendy Sims said Smith approached her about this project shortly after the disappearance of Carroll.
Sims said she is hopeful to have this program running by the first of the year. In the meantime, she is asking the community to come forward with the names of Bryan County residents that would benefit from this program. The cost of an individual transmitter, which is in the form of a bracelet, is $300, but those who cannot afford can apply for free service.
Sims said, nationally, the program has a 100 percent recovery rate for over 2,000 rescues it has been involved in. On top of that, the average recovery time is less than 30 minutes.
"Seeing the tragic situation with Miss Carroll first hand made this program real special to me," Sims said. "I just wish we had this program in place prior to July 18."
The search for Carroll continues, and the family held a candlelight vigil earlier this month. However, not one clue has surfaced as to her whereabouts.
For more information on Project Lifesaver, call Sims at 756-3602.