SALT Council bulks up Project Lifesaver inventory

Published 8:45 am Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Tools are becoming readily available to assist the senior population of Carter County and Elizabethton.

Carter County/Elizabethton Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (SALT) Chairwoman Karen Mansfield told the Elizabethton Star Tuesday the organization received a $500 grant from the East Tennessee Foundation to help ensure the longevity of Project Lifesaver.

According to Mansfield, currently seven residents use the program and the additional funds will help ensure safety for the senior population by purchasing more bracelets, batteries and bands, which have to replaced either every 30 or 60 days.

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According to the Project Lifesaver website, the nonprofit organization provides the bands to help law enforcement, fire/rescue and caregivers quickly locate individuals with “cognitive disorders” who are prone to the life-threatening behavior of wandering.

Mansfield added the Carter County Sheriff’s Office has been a key resource for implementing the program.

“The sheriff’s department will replace (the items),” she said. “These funds will go toward keeping Project Lifesaver active in the community.” Mansfield credited the SROs – student resource officers – of the CCSO for their work with the program, along with the entire department as a whole.

Individuals can be part of the program by contacting the Elizabethton Senior Center and going through an evaluation process. Mansfield added the resident being evaluated for the bands would need 24/7 care so that someone can be at the residence to contact 911 if they go missing.

Since its creation 10 years ago, SALT Council has readily been seeking grants to assist with different programs within the community to help the senior citizens and entire community.

Once the most recent programs includes the ability to ensure houses have the proper numerical markings to make them more easy to locate for emergency situations.

Other programs includes the installation of a drug disposal box at the Elizabethton Police Department, which is used to dispose of excessive medication inside the home, Mansfield said.

The public can also get involved with the different projects going on by SALT, the chairwoman added.

Meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at 12:30 p.m. inside the Elizabethton Senior Center.

For more information or how to get involved, residents can contact the center at (423) 542-4362.