Warrington Township’s Emergency Services (EMS) Dept. recently schooled police officers at, appropriately enough, a Bucks County education site, Tamanend Middle School. The training provided officers with information and guidance for how to interact with members of the public who are on the autism spectrum.
Given national statistics on the neurological condition, the public servants’ need for this kind of information is apparent.
Autism Speaks, a New York City advocacy and research organization, cites that 1 in 44 children have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Therefore, it has become incumbent for public servants like police officers and rescue personnel to know how to respond appropriately to individuals with sensory issues. Proper approaches are especially critical because autistic behaviors tend to worsen in high-stress, unfamiliar situations, the exact scenarios to which help is dispatched.
In addition to receiving sensory training, the police officers were presented with Autism Sensory Kits for every patrol vehicle, courtesy of Warrington Rotary Club. The kits contain equipment that can help calm an autistic person during a chaotic situation.
The Tamanend Middle School visit also included time with the kids. EMS personnel presented a fire safety class for students with autism. A firefighter modeled personal protective equipment for them, and they toured a fire engine.
“Township officials are pleased that our Emergency Services personnel were able to educate Warrington Township police officers about how to respond when they encounter an individua with autism,” said Vanessa Maurer, Supervisor, Warrington Township. “We appreciate their efforts to put autistic students at ease in the company of first responders and we applaud their dedication to the people of our township,” she concluded.