EAST ORANGE, NJ - For the first time, the City of East Orange, Project Lifesaver, and Nassan’s Place are happy to announce a formal partnership between their organizations, in which Project Lifesaver will provide battery-powered tracking bracelets to families affected by Autism to help locate wandering children or adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other cognitive impairments.

The mission of Project Lifesaver is to use state-of-the-art technology to find people with Alzheimer’s disease, other memory disorders (such as dementia), or Autistic children who may be prone to wander. A wandering child or adult with ASD represents a critical emergency as they are often unaware of their surroundings and/or unable to ask for help.  In addition, they sometimes do not respond to people calling out to them and asking if they need assistance.

Project Lifesaver serves approximately 18,000 individuals with Autism who wear small personal transmitters that emit an individualized locating signal. If an enrolled person with Autism wanders into an unmonitored area, the caregiver notifies their local Project Lifesaver agency and a trained emergency team, along with local authorities. respond in the wanderer’s area.

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“For our families affected by Autism, an innovative multi-faceted approach to safety is needed,” said Nadine Wright-Arbubakrr, mother of a 13-year old son who has Autism and founder of Nassan’s Place, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization helping to make a difference in the lives of children and families affected by Autism in and around urban inner cities in New Jersey’s Essex County.  “We are grateful to Project Lifesaver and for our partnership with Mayor Lester E. Taylor III, Public Safety Director Sheilah Coley, Director of Recreation & Cultural Affairs Osner Charles and the entire East Orange community, and finally feel as though someone understands our daily fears and concerns with keeping our children safe.”

The City of East Orange is proud to be a leader in proactive measures to protect its most vulnerable citizens.

“Ensuring the safety of all of our residents continues to be our top priority.  With Project Lifesaver, we’ll be able to provide timely response to save Iives and reduce potential injury for adults and children with the tendency to wander due to a cognitive condition,” said Mayor Taylor. “Public safety is not just about responding to crime, it’s about being proactive and strategic in the implementation of programs that allow us to best protect and serve our community.”

Project Lifesaver participants wear a battery-powered bracelet which emits a radio-tracking signal 24-hours a day and weighs about one ounce. The City of East Orange Public Safety Office can respond quickly in the event if a participant becomes missing. The Project Lifesaver program was developed by the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office in Virginia. Hundreds of rescues have already taken place nationwide with the use of Project Lifesaver. The average rescue time remains under 30 minutes.