GRAY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -- The Jones County Sheriff's Office launched a free program to check on elderly, disabled, and home-bound people, and even kids who are home alone.
It's called 'Are You O.K.?' Jones County Sheriff Butch Reece says it's a way to give piece of mind to people who may not live around the corner from their relatives.
"Several years ago, we had a gentleman that had a stroke at home and it was several days before anybody checked on him and we possibly could have saved him if we had this system... and when the people from Kentucky call we say, well he's okay we've talked to him today," said Reece.
The concept is simple. A person sets up a time for the call to come in. When the call comes in, the person picks up and then presses a number if he or she is okay.
They'll hear these words: "Hello, are you okay, if so please press zero."
If they press the number they'll hear this message: "This is Sheriff Butch Reece from the Jones County Sheriff's Office. Thank you for your interest in the are you okay program. Have a great day."
If there's no response, two more calls come in. If there's still no response after that, dispatch is notified by a paper alert that says "no answer."
"We'll attempt to call the person who they've listed to call. If we can't get them, then we'll send a deputy to their house," said Reece.
The system is so advanced, it can handle calling up to 150 homes per hour.
"I researched it and loved it," said Chief Deputy Barbara Burnette, Jones County Sheriff's Office.
She said buying the program was a no-brainer.
"Oh wow we need that, if it can save just one person," said Burnette.
For the Jones County Sheriff's Office, saving a life is priceless.
"It's another way to get there before it's too late," said Sheriff Reece.
Everyone who signs up will meet with someone from the sheriff's office, then pick a time for the call to come in. They'll fill out a profile sheet where they'll list medical needs, and even where they hide a spare key. All the information remains confidential, but Sheriff Reece says these facts help his deputies better respond in an emergency situation.
For more information on how to sign up, click here.