Seth Baker, CEO of The Van Wert County Foundation, is pleased to announce grant funding support in the amount of $25,000.00 for a new public safety program in our community; Project Lifesaver. Kevin Mathews, Director of the Council on Aging, applied for the grant in cooperation with the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Department. 

Project Lifesaver is the premier search and rescue program operated by public safety agencies. It is strategically designed for “at-risk” individuals prone to the life-threatening behavior of wandering. The primary mission of Project Lifesaver is to provide timely responses to save lives and reduce potential injury for adults and children with the propensity to wander due to a cognitive condition.

There are three key components utilized by the Project Lifesaver program which enables first responders to achieve the program’s mission of “bringing loved ones home.”

Project Lifesaver is in a constant state of research and development to ensure the program utilizes the latest and most effective technologies, both in the prevention of wandering and the recovery of a client in the event of elopement.


Project Lifesaver has strategically designed methods and techniques for the specific use of recovering individuals with a cognitive condition. When applied by first responders, these innovative strategies enable the most efficient rescue of an eloped client.


Project Lifesaver provides first responders with a basic understanding of cognitive conditions, giving them the necessary tools needed to respond to an elopement and assess and effectively manage an eloped client’s safe and comfortable return.

To learn more about Project Lifesaver, contact the Van Wert County Council on Aging at 419-238-5011. 

Pictured: (Left to Right)

Sheriff Thomas M. Riggenbach

Detective Nathan Huebner

Administrative Sergeant Michael East

Sergeant Rob Bender

Kevin Mathews, Directo of Council on Aging

Seth Baker, CEO of The Van Wert County Foundation