Project Lifesaver in use in West Nipissing, communities served by North Bay OPP detachment

Sudbury Star Staff Jul 10, 2021 

BAYSAR volunteer Tom Wilson uses the Project Lifesaver receiver to home in on a 'missing person' during an exercise Friday morning at the BAYSAR hangars on Airport Road.
PJ Wilson/The Nugget
BAYSAR volunteer Tom Wilson uses the Project Lifesaver receiver to home in on a ‘missing person’ during an exercise Friday morning at the BAYSAR hangars on Airport Road. PJ Wilson/The Nugget

The OPP’s Nipissing West and North Bay detachments, in conjunction with BAYSAR Air Search and Rescue of North Bay, have announced that Project Lifesaver is up and running in West Nipissing and North Bay OPP jurisdictions.

From Verner to Mattawa, from Marten River to Powassan and in all the other communities served by the North Bay and Nipissing West detachments, families of vulnerable individuals can now consider Project Lifesaver to help bring their loved ones home should they go missing.

BAYSAR and the North Bay Police Service launched Project Lifesaver in North Bay in November 2020. Thanks mostly to a donation from Rebuilt Resources,

BAYSAR was able to provide the equipment and training to expand the program to include the surrounding OPP detachments of Nipissing West and North Bay.

The system is for people of all ages who are at risk of becoming lost due to a cognitive disorder such as Alzheimer’s Disease or other dementia, autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome or acquired brain injury.

Project Lifesaver clients wear a personalized, battery-operated transmitter on their wrist or ankle, held by a strap similar to a hospital patient ID. Batteries and straps are replaced by BAYSAR volunteers every 60 days. Caregivers are provided with a transmitter tester and are required to test the function of the transmitter daily. The transmitter emits a unique FM radio frequency pulse every second, weighs one ounce, is waterproof for hygiene or swimming, and is worn 24 hours a day. This is an important feature — the Project Lifesaver transmitter is constantly worn, because it’s impossible to predict when a vulnerable family member will go missing.

When caregivers call 911 to notify police that a Project Lifesaver-equipped person is missing, in addition to regular police resources, OPP officers trained as electronic search specialists respond to where the person was last seen and search the area with a mobile tracking system. Under the agreement with BAYSAR, the OPP can request the assistance of volunteers who have the same tracking equipment and are trained to the same electronic search standards. If BAYSAR is involved in the search, they have the ability to integrate into the OPP-led search effort. BAYSAR can supply extra electronic search teams on the ground and, until the OPP helicopter is able to assist, BAYSAR may be able to search from the air using a private, fixed-wing aircraft or a helicopter.

The signal can be received up to around three kilometres away by ground teams, or in the air from about 8-10 km. Once a signal is obtained, the OPP officer in command of the search will be able to position electronic search teams to quickly help locate and rescue the missing person. The average search time for a missing Project Lifesaver client is just 30 minutes — 95 per cent less time than standard search operations.

Without Project Lifesaver, searches can involve multiple agencies, hundreds of officers, countless man hours and thousands of dollars. More importantly, because time is of the essence, every minute lost increases the risk of a tragic outcome.

Under the agreement with BAYSAR, the OPP will always be in charge of a search and will respond as usual by calling out all applicable resources. For example, the emergency response team, canine unit, helicopter and additional personnel may be utilized.

For information on enrolling someone in West Nipissing, North Bay, or in North Bay OPP jurisdiction, contact BAYSAR Air Search and Rescue in North Bay.
Email baysarnorthbay@gmail.com or call and leave a message at 705-475-9694.

For further information, visit BAYSAR AIR Search and Rescue’s website, www.baysar.net.


BAYSAR Assists Police in Search for Missing Person

 The North Bay Police Service confirms a missing person reported this past weekend was located deceased.

The woman was first reported missing on Saturday and after an intensive search over two days, in poor weather conditions, police report she was located deceased on Sunday.

NBPS says they will provide no further information and is expressing their heartfelt condolences to the family, who is thanking all of those who assisted in the search.

North Bay Police recognize members of the OPP, the OPP’s Emergency Response Team, BAYSAR [North Bay Search and Rescue], the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the media, and the public for their assistance.


North Bay Plastic Molders Ltd who donated face shields to BAYSAR

A big thanks to North Bay Plastic Molders Ltd who donated face shields to BAYSAR. As BAYSAR has initiated Project Lifesaver we have accepted an essential role that requires volunteers to make home visits to our clients who are often unable to wear masks due to their cognitive deficit. The donation of these face shields will help protect our volunteers and the families we visit.


Project Lifesaver to be strengthened and expanded locally

Project Lifesaver is a program with a primary mission to provide timely response to save lives and reduce potential injury for adults and children with the propensity to wander due to a cognitive condition

2020-11-26 Rebuilt Resources donationInspector Dan Webber, NBPS, Katharine Strang, One Kids Place; Maureen Brazeau, Rebuilt Resources, Stan French, BAYSAR, Maryse Raymond, Alzheimer Society, North Bay; and Staff Sgt Bill McMullen, North Bay OPP Detachment Commander.

BAYSAR Air Search and Rescue’s “Project Lifesaver” will be strengthened and expanded locally thanks to some very generous donations.

Project Lifesaver is a program with a “primary mission to provide timely response to save lives and reduce potential injury for adults and children with the propensity to wander due to a cognitive condition.”

BAYSAR asked the community for donations following the November 6 to permit the expansion into OPP jurisdictions. 

See: This Project Lifesaver technology helps protect vulnerable loved ones who wander

“BAYSAR gratefully accepted a cheque for $8,500 today from Maureen Brazeau, Rebuilt Resources, to help fund Project Lifesaver locally, recognizing the important partnership of the Alzheimer Society and One Kids Place with BAYSAR that helps keep safe vulnerable people at high risk of going missing,” says a news release.

Another $4,000 is being donated from local construction companies to help expand Project Lifesaver into area municipalities served by the OPP detachments of North Bay and West Nipissing.

“A big thank you goes out to Canor Construction ($2,000), DMS Ltd ($1,000), and Tight Line Construction ($1,000),” adds the release.

If anyone has a family member who you think would benefit from Project Lifesaver, a referral can come through the Alzheimer Society, One Kids Place, or email BAYSAR directly at baysarnorthbay@gmail.com.

https://www.baytoday.ca/local-news/project-lifesaver-to-be-strengthened-and-expanded-locally-3130807


Project Lifesaver Media Launch

Friday morning (November 6th, 2020) BAYSAR and North Bay Police Services had a media launch for Project Lifesaver. Thank you to those in attendance and to the great local community donors.

“BAYSAR will be the Project Lifesaver lead agency for the area, with the NBPS and OPP responsible for the initial emergency response when a client is reported missing. BAYSAR would then become the supporting agency during an emergency response.”

  • In Attendance:
  • Alzheimer Society
  • One Kids Place
  • North Bay and Area Community Foundation
  • Rotary Club of North Bay – Nippising
  • Lions Club of North Bay
  • Retired Teachers of Ontario District 43
  • Not in attendance but donated to Project Lifesaver (THANK YOU!)
  • Gold Fleet Subaru
  • Northern Heights Aviation
  • AMAPCEO
  • The North Bay Police Association
  • These are a few of the great photos that were taken.

Links to all the media coverage (articles and video)

https://northernontario.ctvnews.ca/time-is-very-important-baysar-and-north-bay-police-launch-project-lifesaver-to-find-people-who-wander-off-1.5180096

https://northernontario.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=2072797

https://www.yourtv.tv/node/285326

https://www.baytoday.ca/local-news/this-project-lifesaver-technology-helps-protect-vulnerable-loved-ones-who-wander-2858439


PROJECT LIFESAVER UPDATES!!!

On Sep 13 BAYSAR met all the standards to become operational as a Project Lifesaver agency by successfully certifying five Electronic Search Specialist Instructors. Our associate agency, the North Bay Police Service, had previously certified two Electronic Search Specialist Instructors. Together in partnership, BAYSAR and NBPS will be able to train and recertify sufficient personnel to meet the search and rescue requirements of operating as a Project Lifesaver agency.


On Sep 25 BAYSAR started the process of accepting our first Project Lifesaver client.


On Sep 30, BAYSAR received a welcome donation from Northern Heights Aviation  https://www.northernheightsaviation.com/https://www.facebook.com/NorthernHeightsaviation who graciously donated their time to install an antenna on our aircraft. The antenna will be used to provide BAYSAR with the capability to search electronically from the air for missing Project Lifesaver clients. A flight to test the capability of locating a Project Lifesaver signal from the air using a receiver hooked up to the new antenna was conducted on Oct 3. BAYSAR has deemed that test a success. BAYSAR has now entered the operational training phase for Project Lifesaver for airborne search capability.


On Oct 4 BAYSAR became fully operational as a Project Lifesaver agency by activating the transmitter for our first client. Thanks to referrals from the Alzheimer Society and One Kids Place, BAYSAR has assisted seven more families by providing Project Lifesaver to help keep their loved ones safe. The process of receiving referrals, accepting clients, and improving our service to a wider area of operation is ongoing.


Project Lifesaver International

“Project Lifesaver International has accepted the letters of intent from BAYSAR and the North Bay Police Service and has welcomed BAYSAR as a Project Lifesaver Agency with the NBPS as BAYSAR’s Associate Agency. Sufficient fundraising has been completed to purchase the start-up equipment required for training. BAYSAR expects to be able to start accepting referrals from the Alzheimer Society and One Kids Place in the fall. In the meantime, fundraising will continue to enable the purchase of 10 transmitters at $500 each for One Kids Place clients.”




Project Lifesaver looks to fall launch

PJ Wilson Published on: May 26, 2020 |

Project Lifesaver is expected to roll out in North Bay this fall. Shown are the transmitter, left, which is worn by people subject to wandering and the receiver that will be used to track down lost individuals.Submitted Photo PICASA / JPG, NB

Project Lifesaver could be up and running in North Bay by the fall.

The joint effort between the civilian emergency rescue service BAYSAR and the North Bay Police Service (NBPS) has raised more than $14,270 so far.

It aims to raise another $5,000 to complete the purchase of startup equipment.

The funds came through donations and grants from the Rotary Club of North Bay-Nipissing, Retired Teachers of Ontario, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Association, and North Bay and Area Community Foundation.

“We’re in the end stage of fundraising,” Project Lifesaver assistant administrator Jodie Lindsay said Monday.

Project Lifesaver is a non-profit organization founded in 1999 in the United States. It has since been adopted by many police services in Canada, including in Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie.

The project involves fitting people prone to wander — including people on the autism spectrum and those with Alzheimer’s disease — with tracking devices that will enable them to be found quickly.

Caregivers can enrol their loved ones in the program and provide information about them — in this case to BAYSAR — which is then shared with police should they go missing.

Those enrolled will be fitted with a wristwatch-sized transmitter that can be worn on either the wrist or ankle. Each transmitter has its own frequency and can transmit up to a distance of five kilometres.

If the person wanders away, the family can call 911, where operators will pass on the pertinent information — including the frequency of the transmitter — to trained searchers.

BAYSAR will be the Project Lifesaver lead agency for the area, with the NBPS and OPP responsible for the initial emergency response when a client is reported missing. BAYSAR would then become the supporting agency during an emergency response.

The initial purchase of 16 transmitters will support clients with the Alzheimer Association (of Canada? Ontario), while another 10 will be purchased for clients at One Kids Place when the fundraising campaign wraps up.

The COVID-19 pandemic, Lindsay says, did not affect the rollout of the program.

“The majority of the program was in the works prior to COVID,” she said.

Although according to BAYSAR president Stan French, “We have to wait for COVID-19 restrictions” to be lifted before training can begin.

French approached the police services board in December seeking support for Project Lifesaver.

He said he hopes the fundraising target can be reached by the end of June to purchase everything needed for the program.

According to the Project Lifesaver website, the service has successfully rescued 3,676 people.

“This has been quite successful where it has been called out,” Lindsay says, with the average search time about 30 minutes.

“It has definitely been successful.”