Former Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever first saw a demonstration of the Are You Okay “RUOK” program several years ago while at a law enforcement conference.
In January of 2010 the Sheriff’s Office began to relay information about the program, the proposed cost to purchase and implement it, and other information to the public and business organizations within the county. As a result of this fund drive, the Sheriff’s Office received the necessary monies to purchase the computer and software to make this program a reality. This was only done through the Bisbee Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, and the United Way of Sierra Vista.
The Are You Okay Program is a way for those who are homebound, physically incapacitated, or otherwise unable to be in regular contact with someone to help in the event of an emergency. The program requires participants to sign up and provide basic personal information and a signed liability waiver to be added to the Sheriff’s Office subscriber list. Once a resident is added to the list, a telephone call will be made to them at their requested interval such as once a day, twice a week, etc. If there is no answer after several tries, then a Point of Contact will be requested to check on the subscriber. If there is no Point of Contact available, then a Law Enforcement Officer will be sent to check on the subscriber. This will mesh seamlessly with other local initiatives such as the Wellness Depot in Sierra Vista and Senior Centers throughout the county.
Last week, Chief Deputy Rod Rothrock finalized the proposal and is firmly committed to making this project work for the Citizens of Cochise County.
The registration forms are available through the Sheriff’s Office by calling 520-432-9500, and are on the county website.
“I am both pleased and excited to be able to bring this program to the citizen’s of Cochise County,” Rothrock said. “The RUOK program will benefit not only seniors who live alone, or who are left alone for long periods, it will also be of benefit for those with medical concerns or other special needs to serve as a means of verifying that person’s welfare. While not a cure-all, this program will go far to providing greater peace of mind for those who sign up for the program as well as for their family, friends, neighbors or care givers. This program is clearly a step in the right direction towards improving the quality of life for many of our citizens.”