How a program in Pulaski County helps bring loved ones home

The free service helps locate people missing people who have a cognitive disorder

Project Lifesaver helps first responders locate missing individuals

PULASKI COUNTY, Va. – There have been a handful of missing person cases in our area lately. Now, the Pulaski Police Department is reminding residents of a free service they offer to help find a missing person with a cognitive disorder.

A Silver Alert or an Amber Alert — some of these missing person scenarios can be avoided with the help of a program called Project Lifesaver.

“You use radio wave technology to locate missing persons. It’s used generally for people with dementia, Alzheimer’s, persons who have a traumatic brain injury or autistic children,” said Sonia Ramsey, community resource specialist for the Pulaski Police Department.

How it works is the person wears a bracelet that sends out radio waves that can be tracked by first responders who are trained in the program.

“The fire department and also the police department here in Pulaski have the receivers that we can pick up the radio waves that are sent out and we can help locate the person who is lost,” Ramsey added.

Project Lifesaver is a search and rescue program operated internationally by public safety agencies and is available in many localities. In Pulaski, the service is free and anyone who is a caregiver of someone who tends to wander off or could potentially get lost is encouraged to take advantage of it.

“We’re really hoping that if we just keep pushing it out and keep reaching out that we will have people who know that this service is available to them. To have that piece of mind, that you know, hey we have a little extra security, a little extra ability to find them if they do take off,” said Ramsey.

For more information, residents can stop by the police department during business hours 8:30 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or contact Sonia Ramsey at 540-994-8676 and

About the Author:

Alyssa Rae grew up in Roanoke and graduated from Virginia Tech. An avid sports fan, she spent her first 8 years in TV as a sports anchor and reporter.