Andrew Goff / Thursday, Feb. 1 @ 2:18 p.m. / Community Services
‘ARE YOU OK,’ HUMBOLDT?: New Program Offers Daily Phone Check-Ins to Arcata, Eureka, McKinleyville Residents
Humboldt Senior Resource Center press release:
“Are You OK?®” is a telephone reassurance service to assist members of our community who live alone, and offers regular contact and peace of mind for program subscribers.
Humboldt Senior Resource Center (HSRC) has collaborated with the Arcata Fire District (AFD) and City Ambulance to now offer the “Are You OK?” program to residents in the AFD service area, which includes Arcata, Bayside, Jacoby Creek, Manila, and McKinleyville. The “Are You OK?” program is also available to residents in the greater Eureka area served by Humboldt Bay Fire.
Each morning, at a pre-arranged time, the “Are You OK?” system automatically calls subscribers and tracks if the call is answered. If no answer is noted, the system will call again a predetermined number of times. If there still is no response, an alert is created, and an HSRC or City Ambulance staff member will either call the subscriber’s emergency contact(s) or notify a public safety representative to initiate a welfare check, which would be conducted by local fire district personnel using a house key kept in a locked key box.
Leslye Joseph, age 59, of Eureka subscribed to “Are You OK?” about a year ago after she underwent brain surgery. With no family in the area, Leslye knew she needed someone to check in on her, but she didn’t want to impose on her friends. Then she found out about “Are You Okay?” and signed up. Leslye says, “Not only does the program give me peace of mind, but I’m also comforted to know someone would find my animals if something happens to me. And I don’t have to worry about someone finding my spare key. I am so happy I found this program.”
To subscribe to the “Are You OK?” service, participants must:
- Live within the Arcata Fire District or Humboldt Bay Fire District,
- Be able to answer the telephone, and
- Provide a house key that will be kept in a secure lock box accessible only by local fire district personnel.
Subscribers are also asked to notify HSRC if they will be away from home at their scheduled call time. There is a minimal one-time $12 registration fee; the required key lock box is provided to subscribers for free.
Notes Justin McDonald, Fire Chief of the Arcata Fire District, “Everyone thinks ‘It’s not going to happen to me; I’m not going to have a heart attack.’ But something like that could happen. The ‘Are You OK?’ program is a morning phone call to make sure you’re up and about, and if you don’t answer, that sets other things into motion.”
For more information or to obtain an enrollment form for the “Are You OK?” program, call the HSRC Activities Department at 443-9747 ext. 1240. Enrollment forms can also be found on the HSRC website at www.humsenior.org.