News Details

First Project Lifesaver Bracelet Issued in Gloucester County A Glassboro Man with Alzheimer's disease received the tracking bracelet

(Glassboro, NJ) - Gloucester County Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney, Freeholder Frank J. DiMarco and Sheriff Carmel Morina issued the first Project Lifesaver bracelet in Gloucester County today to Mr. Harry Wohlfarth.

Mr. Wholfarth is a 78 year old Glassboro resident with Alzheimer's who lives with his wife, and primary care-giver, Honey Wholfarth. The Wholfarth's were the first residents in the county to contact the Sheriff's Office and apply for the Project Lifesaver bracelet when they learned about the new program.

"The Project Lifesaver bracelet is an essential piece of equipment for this family. We are pleased to give the bracelet to the Wholfarths's and we hope that it will bring some peace of mind to Mrs. Wholfarth so that if there is an incident where Mr. Wholfarth wonders off, he can be found quickly" said Freeholder Director Sweeney.

"As advocates for families who face the challenges of the diseases of Alzheimer's, Down Syndrome and Autism, we understand the every day struggles of caring for a loved one and how resources like this can help allay just one of the many concerns caregivers have," Sweeney stated.

In approximately 1,500 nationwide searches to date there have been no reported serious injuries or deaths for those who have been tracked while wearing the Project Lifesaver bracelet. Recovery times average less than 30 minutes.

Sheriff Morina, whose office is administering the program, said that Project Lifesaver is a device equipped with a small transmitter which emits a signal that the Sheriff's Office can track if someone wearing it goes missing.

"When I took office in the beginning of the year I put this project high on my priority list. Now that Gloucester County is participating in this public safety effort New Jersey is completely covered by Project Lifesaver, which means that if you are wearing this bracelet and you are in New Jersey, you will be located," said Sheriff Morina.

"The Wholfarth's are a wonderful family who are doing a great service about speaking publicly about their disease and I know that they want to help people in their situation by spreading the word of the importance of wearing a tracking device if there is a history or likeliness of wondering," said Sheriff Morina. The Sheriff said that Mrs. Wholfarth explained that Mr. Wholfarth had previously wondered off.

Freeholder Frank J. DiMarco recalled the recent news story of an 81-year-old man from Hamilton Township that was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and was found dead after getting lost in the woods a mere five miles from his home.

DiMarco, liaison to the Sheriff's Department noted that the county had budgeted for Project Lifesaver and that the county funds the cost of the $300 bracelet. "There is no price tag that you can put on the peace of mind a program like this gives to a family suffering from Alzheimer's disease, or a related dementia disorder, or for a family with a child afflicted with Down syndrome or Autism."

To apply for Project Lifesaver call the Gloucester County Sheriff's Office (856) 384-4626.