During Thursday’s Mason County Commission meeting, Tom Cooper, Tyler County Office of Emergency Services Director, spoke on behalf of the Project Lifesaver program. Cooper is the administrator of the Tyler County Project Lifesaver and described himself as very dedicated to the field of search and rescue.
In addition, Cooper is certified as an electronic search specialist and an electronic search instructor for Project Lifesaver. According to Cooper, Project Lifesaver helps provide rapid response to save lives and reduce the potential serious injury to adults and children who wander due to various disorders.
In most counties, law enforcement is in charge of the Project Lifesaver program. However, emergency medical services also can run the program. The program works by utilizing an electronic device, which is worn by those in the program. If the person wearing the device wanders, Project Lifesaver can electronically track them to aid in the search and rescue process.
“There have been 2,010 searches completed with Project Lifesaver as of today,” Cooper said, adding that he does not sell the equipment but is simply passionate about the program.
Cooper advised the commission that if the county utilizes the program to make sure that whoever is in charge is dedicated to the cause. According to Cooper, the equipment is $10,000. However, a $6,000 grant is available to help with equipment costs.
Commissioners agreed to discuss the program with Mason County Sheriff David Anthony, but no action was taken.
In other business:
• Mason Police Chief Jason Gilley was on hand to discuss the possibility of combining the Mason, Hartford and New Haven Police Departments into one department. According to Gilley, this would make for better police protection and coverage of the three towns. Gilley also announced that there would be meeting with the three departments to discuss merging on Nov. 3, however, the meeting is not open to the public. County Administrator John Gerlach said that a public meeting would need to be held before any action could be taken.
• Commissioners unanimously agreed to appoint Evelyn Fitzwater to serve on the Southwestern Community Action group.
• Commissioners unanimously agreed to move Tiffany Franklin, 911 employee, from part time to full time.
• Commissioners unanimously agreed to purchase a new voice recorder for the 911 center due to the current recorder’s technical issues.
The next meeting will be 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22.