Coast Guard and Atlantic County Sheriff’s office join forces for Project Lifesaver

POMONA, N.J. - Lt. Paul LaRoche, crewmember of Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, N.J., and Sheriff Frank Balles, Atlantic County Sheriff's office, shake hands after conducting a multi-agency exercise for Project Lifesaver International in Pomona April 15, 2011.  The cooridnation between the two agencies highligts search and rescue capabilities for Atlantic County families with members at high risk for wondering. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Crystalynn A. Kneen.

Lt. Paul LaRoche and Sheriff Frank Balles, Atlantic County Sheriff's office, shake hands after conducting a multi-agency exercise for Project Lifesaver International. Coast Guard photo by Petty OfficerCrystalynn A. Kneen

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Members of Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City and the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office conduct a Project Lifesaver exercise at the Atlantic City International Airport in Pomona, N.J., Friday.

The exercise was conducted to share current agency search, rescue and communications capabilities to establish the communications and response plans to cooperate effectively and promote a valuable lifesaving program to Atlantic County families with members at high risk for wandering. Populations at high risk include those suffering Alzheimer’s disease, autism, Down syndrome, dementia or other cognitive disorders.

“The agency cooperation makes vital use of each other’s unique technological and operational capabilities to locate a missing person and provides an essential hoist extraction capability if needed,” said Coast Guard Lt. Paul LaRoche, the exercise coordinator.

Project Lifesaver International is a non-profit organization seeking to bridge the technological gap for at-risk populations and first responders. The local program is managed by the Atlantic County Sheriff Department and funded by various non-profit organizations. The service is provided at no cost to families and members meeting the program criteria.

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