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Project Lifesaver receives a financial boost

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Project Lifesaver is one step closer to reality.

On Wednesday, BAYSAR Air Search and Rescue announced that the North Bay and Area Community Foundation (NBACF) has provided a grant of $8,920 towards the initiative. Officials say that brings the total raised for Project Lifesaver to $14,270. The total includes grants from the Rotary Club of North Bay-Nipissing, the Retired Teachers of Ontario, and the North Bay Police Association.

Project Lifesaver is an initiative where transmitters are purchased for Alzheimer’s patients in the area who are at risk of wandering.

Stan French, the president of BAYSAR says the goal is to purchase the transmitters by the end of June, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a wrench in some plans.

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“COVID-19 has made BAYSAR’s efforts to launch Project Lifesaver much more challenging. However, there is an even greater need now to proceed,” explained French. “We may all be trying to reduce our travel outside the house to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 but someone with a cognitive impairment that is at risk of wandering doesn’t understand that they are supposed to stay home.”

“The risk of wandering remains unchanged at the same time as police and other emergency responders have their own challenges while operating under COVID-19,” he added. “Having Project Lifesaver in place will provide a much needed enhanced capability to search and rescue responses at a time when resources can be stretched.”

French adds the goal is to raise an additional $5,000 by June 15 to purchase the 10 transmitters. The fundraising drive will be made in partnership with One Kids Place.

Officials say after the purchase is done, and the training for BAYSAR and the North Bay Police Service is completed, the first patients are expected to be admitted in the fall.

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