Fire stations add sensory bags for patients with autism in Ohio
The Clearcreek Township Fire Department has added sensory bags to help firefighters and paramedics when they respond to a scene involving someone on the autism spectrum.
Firefighter and paramedic Eric Henry was the brainchild behind the departments new addition and did research into what items would help first responders to calm a child or adult with autism.
“We were sitting there talking about them visiting the fire department one day and I was thinking about how we were equipped to deal with autistic people within our community,” Henry said. “We have a lot of children that we’re going to interact with all the time and there is a high probability that we’re going to run into someone with autism.”
The sensory bags contain items to keep the subject’s hands busy, reduce the noise around them and even to help them communicate with first responders.
“It is a challenging experience because they don’t communicate the way that we communicate,” Henry said. “Any way that we can reach out and make sure our guys are prepared when the come into a situation like this it’s a good thing.”
Henry equipped all three stations with sensory bags for less than $300.