BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Boardman police and fire departments launched a new program Monday to assist elderly and disabled residents.
The program is called Care Call System. The computer program makes daily calls to residents to make sure they don’t need help.
Both departments receive several calls a week to conduct welfare checks on residents, but this program allows the call system to check on residents before anyone notices something may not be quite right.
“If we can get there in hours versus days, I think we will be doing our elderly population right,” said Chief Mark Pitzer, Boardman Fire Department.
Monday, scheduled calls went out to about 25 residents. Each resident pre-registered, designated a contact a contact person and decided how many times to get the call.
The next step is up to the resident. Once the phone rings, it has to be picked up or a number pushed on the handset. If that is done, nothing else happens. If a person doesn’t pick up, the system calls back every 15 minutes for 45 minutes. If there is no answer on the third call, the designated contact person is notified.
If the system fails to locate the designated contact person an officer is dispatched to the residence.
On one of the calls placed Monday, an officer was sent out, but it was a false alarm. The resident was hard of hearing and did not hear the ringing telephone.
The new system is funded through a law enforcement trust which consists of money seized during drug arrests.
“We take their money off of them and it goes into an account. Essentially, the criminals have funded the system,” said Chief Jack Nichols, Boardman Police Department.
Applications to register for the system can be filled out online, and help is provided for anyone who needs assistance filling out the forms.