MONTVILLE, Conn. (WTNH)– The Chesterfield Fire Company has designed a new tool in its effort to better serve the community.
“What we have in the kits are headsets for audio sensory issues with autism,” explained Steven Frischling, the PIO for the fire company. “Loud noises tend to scare them.”
The autism sensory kits also contain sunglasses because autistic people can be light-sensitive, chew tubes, and flick sticks.
“This allows them to stay totally focused on not being stuck with a needle
or not having the blood pressure on them,” said Frischling.
He has a son with autism so he knows how helpful these kits can be in an emergency situation. Lights and sirens can add to the anxiety.
“It’s very hard to deal with somebody with autism on a good day and it’s incredibly challenging when they don’t know what’s going on, the situation has changed, or they don’t have their parents or service animal,” said Frischling.
The kits will be put in all the fire trucks and ambulances in Montville. They will also be donated to the town’s partner agencies.
Frischling says they are not just helpful for the people who have autism. They’re very helpful for the first responders as well.
“White boards for non-verbals. They can write down what they want,” said Frischling, as he revealed more of what the kits contain.
Charts showing pictures of different issues can help first responders better understand the person they’re treating.
Also included in the kits are cards designed by the fire company which say “My Child has Autism” or “I have Autism,” which can help others understand why someone with autism is acting a certain way.
“I wish I’d had these a couple of times,” said Frischling.
The ones for the person with autism have an explanation on the front.
“It’s primarily for law enforcement that tells them how to interact with them,” said Frischling.
The person’s name and emergency contact information are on the back.
“If they can just hand someone the card it makes life much easier,” said Frischling.
The Chesterfield Fire Company used donations to put together these kits.