Are You OK? Program
In September 1996, the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office launched the “Are You Ok?” program. “Are You Ok?” is a telephone reassurance program that ensures daily contact with senior citizens and/or disabled persons that live alone and may not have a family member living locally that can check on them every day. This program allows a person the comfort and security needed to maintain personal independence while providing peace of mind to family and friends.
The “Are You Ok?” computer system is located in the in the Sheriff’s Office Communications Department (Dispatch) and is monitored by dispatchers. The system consists of a dedicated computer, telephone, and the “Are You Ok?” software. The computer stores subscriber names, phone numbers, and call times. The system is designed to run 24/7 and automatically cycles everyday at midnight.
The “Are You Ok?” service is free of charge to eligible citizens.
How the Program Works
The “Are You Ok?” system makes daily computer generated calls to subscribers at their pre-determined time each day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. If the subscriber is okay, they simply hang up the phone after hearing the pre-recorded message. The computer assumes the subscriber is okay if they answer the telephone.
What Happens if You Don’t Answer?
If the subscriber does not answer or if the telephone line is busy, the computer will call the subscriber a second time. If there is still no answer or the telephone line stays busy after the second attempt, the computer will issue an alert and generate a printout with the subscriber’s name and address, medical history, emergency contact person and other pertinent information provided by the subscriber when they signed up for the program.
Upon receiving the alert, a dispatcher will attempt to contact the subscriber by phone to check on their welfare. If the dispatcher is unable to make contact with the subscriber, a deputy will be dispatched to the residence to check on the welfare of the subscriber or the appropriate agency will be contacted to request a welfare check.
The “Are You Ok?” service is available free of charge to citizens who:
- Live in Yuma County.
- Live alone (couples will be considered on a case by case basis).
- Are over the age of 60.
- Have a medical condition that requires them to be confined to their residence.
- Have any other condition as deemed appropriate by the program administrator on a case by case basis.
Other Program Requirements
Yuma County citizens meeting the eligibility requirements listed above must also meet the following program requirements:
- Must complete an “Are You Ok?” Field Interview Form. The form includes a waiver of liability allowing a Deputy Sheriff or Sheriff’s Office volunteers to enter the home by forced entry if necessary in order to confirm the safety and welfare of the subscriber.
- Must have a landline telephone (NOT a cell phone).
- Must have at least two people (such as relatives or neighbors) that possess keys to the subscriber’s residence in close proximity and available in the mornings.
Discontinuing the Service
The subscriber must contact the Sheriff’s Office Communications Department at (928) 783-4427 to give notification in advance when they are not going to be home to answer the “Are You Ok?” phone call or if they need to stop the service temporarily.
If the subscriber elects to withdraw permanently from the “Are You Ok?” program, they must notify the Sheriff’s Office in writing and sign a release from participation.
Yuma County citizens meeting the eligibility and program requirements must complete an “Are You Ok?” Field Interview Form. The form includes personal, medical and other information which may needed in an emergency situation, as well as a waiver of liability. It is also required that the subscribers provide the name and contact information for at least two people (such as relatives or neighbors) that possess keys to the subscriber’s residence. This is necessary in the event that a Deputy Sheriff or other law enforcement officer needs to enter the residence to check on the subscriber.
All of the information provided by the subscriber is kept confidential and secure at the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office.
To register, you can:
- Download and complete the “Are You Ok?” Field Interview Form and mail it to: Yuma County Sheriff’s Office, 141 S. 3rd Avenue, Yuma, AZ 85364.
- Contact the YCSO Volunteer Coordinator at (928) 819-2212 to schedule an appointment for a Sheriff’s Office volunteer to come to your home for an interview and to further explain the program.
- Complete the “Are You Ok?” Field Interview Form at the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office located at 141 S. 3rd Avenue, Yuma, AZ.
For more information regarding the "Are You Ok?" Program, please contact:
- Sgt. Ryland Croutch
YCSO Volunteer Coordinator
Tel: (928) 819-2212
Hours: Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
- Don Bowen
SOLVE Volunteer Program
Tel: (928) 819-2213
Hours: Tuesday or Thursday, 8:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.