Rescued boy becomes county’s first Project Lifesaver bracelet recipient

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By Jesse Osbourne

A project that rolled out in late March is finally reaching its intended audience.


Project Lifesaver,  which helps caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients and autistic children, has been available for county residents since then.
Randall Chesser, the seven-year-old autistic boy that went missing for nearly two days last month, is the first person to benefit from the program.
The program includes a bracelet that resembles a wrist watch. The bracelet transmits a signal that carries over a 1.25 mile radius.
In a past article in The Springfield Sun, Rescue Squad Commander Joe Carpenter said tracking can also be done from an airplane or helicopter, and under water.
He also said the technology cuts down on time and manpower spent on searching if someone went missing without the bracelet.
In order to receive the wristwatch, families would have to pay $300 for the transmitter, and an additional $10 a month to replace the battery and wristband.
Chesser’s family is benefitting from a donation from Spring View Hospital. It provided the bracelet for Chesser.
Carpenter said rescue personnel train with the bracelets once a quarter.
Once, he said, they trained in six inches of snow at night.
Chesser’s special education teacher at North Washington Elementary, Allena Hamilton, drew Blue the dog from the television show Blue’s Clues, per request by Chesser, on the bracelet.
Hamilton stressed the importance of wearing the bracelet to Chesser.
Lewellyn Chesser, Randall’s aunt, explained to him that his bracelet was like hers, and it was important that he not take it off.
Chesser will have to have the battery checked once a day to verify that the it is working. A chart will be kept tracking the check-ups.
The battery and the band will have to be replaced once a month.
The equipment came to the county by way of a $5,000 grant. In a past article in The Sun, Emergency Management Director Kevin Devine said the county did have to pay for some training.
 In a past article in The Sun, Carpenter and Devine said they didn’t expect a lot of people to sign up for the wristbands, but even one rescue would make the program worthwhile.