Fire service for all: Alto-Bowne Township Fire Department makes backpacks for patients with Autism

  • Source: WZZM-TV ABC 13 Grand Rapids
  • Published: 05/30/2023 12:18 AM

Inside two Alto-Bowne Township Fire Department trucks, they've got a game-changer for treating patients on the autism spectrum. Firefighter Lauren Rinevelt helped bring special backpacks to the department that will keep patients on the spectrum calm while first responders can work emergency scenes. "That's what the fire service is," said Rinevelt. "It's a service. So if we could serve a bigger spectrum of patients, that's what's important to me." Each backpack comes with a weighted blanket and sensory fidget toys, all things that can help keep patients on the spectrum calm during a stressful time. "If you need something to fidget with while you talk, we have those options, or if you want to stay away from the sensory-related things," said Rinevelt.


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