Indy Chamber News Archives
“Indy Bands Together” aims to provide lifesaving wristbands to kids with autism. Damar, Indianapolis Colts, firefighters to host mock rescue to show how Project Lifesaver works to locate kids with autism who go missing.
It’s a parent’s worst nightmare: A child wanders off and can’t be found. For parents of children with autism, this nightmare can seem far too likely because many individuals with autism are prone to run as a way to cope. And because many run toward retention ponds and other water, time is of the essence.
That’s the benefit of Project Lifesaver. Children or adults prone to wander wear a wrist or ankle band that has a trackable transmitter. If an individual goes missing, first responders use radio technology to locate the individual. The Decatur, Franklin, Lawrence, Pike and Wayne township fire departments, as well as Boone, Hendricks, Hamilton and Morgan counties, and most suburban fire departments, are Project Lifesaver agencies.
While Project Lifesaver has rescued thousands of children, many who could benefit from the trackable bands are not part of the project, because it can be cost-prohibitive.
Damar Services is working with local firefighters and the Indianapolis Colts to change that.
Damar wants to raise $50,000 to buy wristbands for local residents who can’t afford them. The Damar Foundation will match every dollar donated up to $25,000. To give, visit www.damar.org. Families may also apply for a wristband by visiting www.damar.org.
Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Deyshawn Bond, official spokesperson for the project, said, “When times are tough, Indy bands together. You know what’s tough? Having a kid with autism who runs off.
“This wristband not only can give parents a peace-of-mind, but when activated, it can save lives,” Bond added. “Join me in helping to make sure every child with autism, who may be prone to wonder, has a wristband.”
About Project Lifesaver
Project Lifesaver International is a non-profit organization founded in 1998 by former Chesapeake, Va., Police Captain Gene Saunders to develop a program to rapidly locate individuals with autism, dementia or other cognitive diseases who wander. To date, more than 3,300 rescues had taken place.
About Damar Services
For 50 years, Damar Services has been a leader in providing services to children and adults challenged by autism and intellectual, developmental and behavioral disabilities. From its main campus on Indianapolis’ southwest side, a northeast side clinic and other locations across the state, Damar offers residential and community-based treatment, outpatient behavioral health services and ABA AutismServices by Damar. In addition, Damar operates two schools and provides foster care services. For more information, visit www.damar.org.
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- Jen Schmits Thomas, , 317-441-2487
- Jenny Peters, , 317-856-5201
- Dawn Mills, mother of Nick Mills, who has autism and wears a Project Lifesaver wristband 317-919-4994 cell
- KimSuess, mother of Deric Suess, who has autism and was the first person in Indiana to wear a Project Lifesaver wristband approximately 14 years ago, 317-443-0990 cell
- Joy Lorch, Wayne Township firefighter and co-coordinator of Project Lifesaver for Indiana, 317-550-7066 cell
- Billie Auberry, Decatur Township firefighter and Project Lifesaver coordinator, 317-339-0776 cell