Firefighting class in New Jersey helps first responders deal with autism

  • Source: WKXW-FM 101.5 Trenton
  • Published: 04/18/2022 12:00 AM

A New Jersey firefighter has started teaching classes to firefighters, and other first responders about what to do if they respond to a situation where a person, more specifically a child, is on the autism spectrum. Donald Colarusso, president of All Hands Fire Equipment and Training in Neptune City, said it's important to make first responders aware of certain encounters where a person with autism may not welcome what the firefighters would consider a routine engagement. Colarusso had taken a class on how to deal with these delicate situations at the Monmouth County Sheriffs Department years ago. Having someone in his family with autism, Colarusso really took this class to heart. But the class is not offered anymore, so Colarusso decided to create his own class called "Autism Awareness for First Responders." He said firefighters need to be aware of the different challenges they may face when confronted with someone with autism.


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