Radio transmitter helps deputies locate missing Greenback man

LENOIR CITY (WATE) – A Project Lifesaver radio transmitter is credited for locating a man who wandered away from his caregiver in the Greenback area on Tuesday morning.

Loudon County 911 received a call at 8:23 a.m. from the caregiver of a Project Lifesaver client, notifying them the he wandered off.

The call was sent to the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office, the Greenback Fire Department and the Lenoir City Fire Department to be on the lookout and provide services and equipment to find the missing man.

At 9:04 a.m., a signal from the man’s Project Lifesaver transmitter bracelet was picked up. About 30 minutes later, the man was found in a strangers home where the residents found him sitting on the porch, authorities said.

The man was found safe and reunited with his family, according to deputies.

The man wandered off earlier in the year, before he had a Project Lifesaver bracelet. It took 10 officers, rescue personnel and family members more than eight hours to find him, police said.

Project Lifesaver is sponsored by the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office. It places a personalized radio transmitter on identified persons who may have wandered away from the safety of their homes, most often senior citizens and Alzheimer’s patients, but also children with autism.

“Extreme heat like we’re in now or in cold temperatures, that could mean the difference between life or death,” said Assistant Deputy Chief Jimmy Davis.

The transmitters are worn as a wrist or ankle bracelet. Regular battery changes are conducted by volunteers trained by the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office. Each bracelet costs $300.

“We use donations to buy the bracelets, and the batteries, and everything it takes to have no cost to the clients,” said Davis.

Project Lifesaver helps to provide some peace of mind for the families and caregivers. The program is provided by the Sheriff’s Office at no cost to the families and is funded entirely through donations from the community.

If you or a loved one lives in Loudon County and would like one of these devices, contact the sheriff’s office at (865) 986-4823.

Anderson and Knox counties subscribe to the Project Lifesaver program as well.