ANDERSON, Ind.-- A potentially life-saving program is coming back to Madison County with the launch of Project Lifesaver Madison County on Tuesday.
The Madison County Sheriff, Community Hospital Anderson and its foundation announced they were bringing the program back after four years without it on World Autism Day. It helps track those with autism, Alzheimer's or other conditions that might cause them to wander.
"I think Project Lifesaver will be a huge blessing," Amy Buck-Boyer said.
Her brother, Bryan D.H. Buck, was diagnosed with Autism when he was 15 years old. He passed away unexpectedly last year at age 32.
"He was such a teacher and such an inspiration to me," his sister, Mary Buck said.
The news of Project Lifesaver coming back to Madison County was welcome news for the family. Buck's mother remembered when he wandered one night when it was dark and police helped locate him.
"It's a very scary thing, you have no way of even knowing, you have to leave your doors locked you have to live a certain lifestyle when that is present. And that's a lot of stress right there," his mother Sonia Buck said.
His case didn't end in tragedy that night, but that's not the same for others.
"That is a great relief for us to have another tool, knowing that the tool isn't perfect, but if the initial call is quick enough and if our response is quick enough then chances are very high that we'll be able to locate these people before they get hurt," Sheriff Scott Mellinger said.
Mellinger said so far 9 clients have signed up. They will be able to cover the costs for them, but are asking families to contribute the $300 for the initial equipment purchase. If families can't afford that, they will help them find support. Community Hospital Anderson said it's dedicating $10,000 a year.
Meanwhile, the Buck's want to help, too. They started The Bryan Foundation after his passing to help keep his voice alive. They said they're looking at ways the organization might be able to offer financial aid to families using Project Lifesaver.
14:46:44 "Our goal is to help individuals with Autism and special needs. It’s not just for autism we also want to help families with a variety of special needs to utilize their services and help them have a voice in our world," Amy Buck-Boyer said.
The organization is having a walk April 21st at the Anderson High School Track at 10 a.m. following a special needs resource fair at 9 a.m. The goal of the event is to connect families with resources in the community.