Lincoln County Commissioners

EMA tests ‘Project Lifesaver’

Posted:  Wednesday, June 6, 2018 - 9:30am

Lincoln County Emergency Management Agency demonstrated “Project Lifesaver” at the June 5 Lincoln County Commissioners meeting. The county invested in Project Lifesaver after an 82-year-old Bristol man with Alzheimer’s went missing in May 2017. He was found alive more than 24 hours later in a shallow stream, after a search by multiple law enforcement agencies, emergency services, and the warden service.

“If that man had been wearing one of these transmitters, he’d likely have been found within the hour,” Stevens said. Melissa Temple demonstrated how the receiver hears a beep, which is louder when the receiver is facing the signal. The plan is to offer transmitters for anyone who wanders. Some disorders, such as autism, Alzheimer’s, other brain disorders, and Down Syndrome, often are associated with wandering. EMA tested the system in the field last month, and is ready to roll out the program for citizens who need it.

The transmitters are $300 each, so Stevens plans to get some grant funding to buy more, and may approach local service agencies for support. He asked for and received funding to purchase more of the transmitters, which are within the budget. Melissa Temple also received permission t0 attend a conference for Project Lifesaver in August.

Anita Sprague of Edgecomb was hired as a communications dispatcher. She currently works for Wiscasset EMS.

Sheriff Todd Brackett said he was reluctantly terminating Michael Gustafson, who has been on medical leave. According to Brackett, Gustafson used up all his paid and unpaid medical and family leave, and the county has no choice but to let him go. He said it was the first time he had to terminate an employee without cause, due to reasons he could not control. Brackett received permission to offer employment to Roger Wilcox of Newcastle, a former sheriff’s deputy, who will serve as a full-time Special Services Deputy.

Brackett said that he would like to put a temporary hold an a contract renewal with Maine Pretrial Services, which handles about half of the county’s pre-trial diversion programs. The Legislature has not yet passed the budget that would fund Maine Pretrial’s programs and other programs, such as the jail, that the county might find itself having to fund if the impasse is not resolved soon. Lincoln County is unique in that it has a dedicated officer who works in diversion already, and Brackett said his program might be able to be augmented by other officers pitching in. He said he would have a plan drawn up by the next meeting.

The department received $1,200 in grant funding for under-age drinking enforcement.

County Administrator Carrie Kipfer said Lincoln County’s orthoimagery is complete. Other counties and towns have not been able to finish their flyovers due to poor weather and leaf cover, and will now have to wait until fall when the leaves drop. Lincoln County will not have another one of these done for three years. She also announced Pittston will become a client of Lincoln County Recycling. Because Pittston is closer than many other towns Lincoln County serves, its rates are lower. The county will begin with a six-month trial for $1,374.97.