The Clearcreek Township Fire Department has added sensory bags to help firefighters and paramedics when they respond to a scene involving someone on the autism spectrum.
Firefighter and paramedic Eric Henry was the brainchild behind the department's new addition and did research into what items would help first responders to calm a child or adult with autism.
“We were sitting there talking about them visiting the fire department one day and I was thinking about how we were equipped to deal with autistic people within our community,” Henry said. “We have a lot of children that we’re going to interact with all the time and there is a high probability that we’re going to run into someone with autism.”
The sensory bags contain items to keep the subject’s hands busy, reduce the noise around them and even to help them communicate with first responders.
Henry equipped all three stations with sensory bags for less than $300.