It is with great pleasure that Global Excellence Assembly announces Chief Gene Saunders as a winner of the 2022 Men of Influence Award to honor his remarkable work during his 55 years of public service for all that he has accomplished as a professional and expert within a variety of fields, especially his role as Captain of the Chesapeake Police Department Virginia for 33 years.
It is a must to highlight that Chief Saunders has a wealth of skills and expertise under his belt. He is a Certified Instructor in Pursuit Driving, Special Operations, General Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue, Firearms and Raid Planning.
He has spent many years skydiving and whilst volunteering with the Virginia Beach Police Department, he also functioned as a Helicopter Flight Officer.
Besides his successful career, Chief Saunders is a sought-after speaker and the author of several articles for magazines concerning wandering.
He has appeared on numerous local, national and international radio and television programs such as: CBS; the Early Show; Extreme Makeover Home Edition; Living the Life; Fox News; The Discovery Channel, CNN News, The Daily Buzz and William Shatner's "Moving America Forward."
Chief Saunders also held lead and supporting roles on the following TV series: The Prosecutors, The FBI Files, The New Detectives and The Untold Stories of the Navy SEALS.
In 1999, he noticed there was a major void that needed to be filled in providing search, rescue, and protection for “At Risk” individuals who are prone to the life-threatening behavior of wandering.
That is when he decided to establish Project Lifesaver International, a program that protects, and when necessary, provides public safety agencies with the search and rescue tools they need to safely recover individuals with cognitive disorders who have wandered off from a safe environment including those with dementia, Epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, Autism, Down syndrome, and other disabilities.
Since then, the Chief has overseen the program’s growth to over 1,400 public safety agencies in 48 states, 6 Provinces in Canada and 1 in Australia, thus saving over 4,500 lives since its inception.
Project Lifesaver International involves attaching a radio transmitter device to the wrist or ankle of persons at-risk of wandering. The battery-operated radio transmitter is attached with a wristband and emits an inaudible pulse once per second, in the FCC allocated and licensed 216 MHz frequency range, that can be picked up by a receiver operated by public safety officers.
With the dramatic increase of cognitive conditions since the inception of the organization, the program has grown from a localized program to a program recognized internationally as a proven and effective method of “bringing loved ones home.”
For the past 20 years, Chief Gene’s clear and singular focus has been on providing one of society’s most vulnerable groups and their caregivers the support, protection, and peace of mind they need while delivering the tools and training to public safety agencies that are responding to individuals with cognitive disorders who tend to wander.
He has done volunteer work with the Chesapeake Sheriff Search and Rescue, The Civil Air Patrol, Virginia State Guard. The Virginia Beach Police Helicopter Unit, and Pony Baseball as a coach and Umpire for 10 years.
As the Project Lifesaver Founder, CEO, and member of the Board of Directors, Saunders has been instrumental in helping spread awareness about the program, and the safety monitoring systems for people suffering from suchdisorders.
I am extremely proud that I can feel I did some things that helped my community.
~ Chief Gene Saunders
Considering the great things that he has tirelessly done and continues to do for people and their safety, Chief Gene Saunders was fairly chosen by Global Excellence Assembly to receive the prestigious Men of Influence Award for 2022 second edition of awards.
It is not an exaggeration to say that he has absolutely deserved every accolade for his tremendously incredible work throughout his over four decades of outstanding service.
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