Illinois first responders get training to assist those with autism

  • Source: Riverside-Brookfield Landmark
  • Published: 09/25/2019 12:00 AM

About 70 local police officers, firefighters, paramedics, high school and mall security and emergency dispatchers from North Riverside, Brookfield, Riverside and Brookfield Zoo got a crash course in handling incidents involving people on the autism spectrum last week during special training sessions at the North Riverside Village Commons. North Riverside Fire Chief John Kiser welcomed the opportunity to host three two-hour training sessions on Sept. 17-19, which were taught by Shannon Swanson, autism specialist from EasterSeals Chicago and funded through a grant from Autism Speaks. "We're seeing an uptick in calls where we're dealing with autistic individuals," Kiser said, adding that the training paramedics have gotten previously was online. "This is the first opportunity where we've had direct contact and sit in a live classroom and hear from professionals on what's the best way."


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