In the early morning hours in August the members of the Los Alamos Police Department were dispatched for a missing person on the south side of Los Alamos.
Police began an aggressive search for a lost adult who was last seen at around 1 a.m. that day.
In this instance the missing person happened to have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia (a pair of organic brain diseases that often affect cognitive ability, in the forms of language, thinking and memory). This disease process will often cause the affected to wonder and become lost. When this occurs it scares the family and is extremely dangerous to the patient. The first responder’s biggest concerns are usually the temperature, rugged terrain, wildlife and traumatic injuries.
After considerable searching, the LAPD found the missing person about 30 feet below the edge of a cliff. The Los Alamos Fire Department (LAFD) Technical Rescue team and paramedics were dispatched, meeting LAPD on scene. A coordinated effort was orchestrated and the patient was successfully extricated from the cliff face, treated and transported to Los Alamos Medical Center for further evaluation. Thankfully this case had a successful outcome and the patient was found before any further significant injuries had occurred.
The Los Alamos Police Department also facilitates the Project Lifesaver program that is deployable in an emergency, where your loved one could be in danger and encourages those who are caring for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients to contact them at 505.662.8222. The program offers free transmitters funded through a state grant that allow LAPD Detectives to track missing loved ones. LAPD will send a trained and experienced officer to help enroll your loved one in our secure database to assist in locating them should they wander. This is a free and worthy program that helps to protect your loved ones.
Please consider enrolling your family in this worthwhile program. Help your first responders to help you.
Partners in life safety, LAPD and LAFD are proudly serving you 24/7.