Local 1st Responders Help Make Autism Awareness Training Video

Here is a good free training resource.

Institute on Disabilities Releases New Video
Autism and First Responders: Seeing Beyond the Smoke

The Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, in collaboration with Willow Grove Fire Company, Upper Moreland Police Department and Horsham Fire Company, has produced and just released the video, Autism and First Responders: Seeing Beyond the Smoke to help increase awareness of the unique issues presented by people with autism, and to inform fire fighters, police officers and other first responders on how to recognize signs of children and young adults with autism. Parents, family members, educators and others who support people with autism will also find valuable information in the video.

The 20-minute video features a house fire scenario with suggestions on how to recognize and manage challenges that people with autism may present, along with interviews with Chief Brian Focht, fire fighters Tom Winterberg, Marc Medori, family members and children with autism.
Funded by PA Developmental Disabilities Council the video is available on the Institute’s You Tube channel. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnua3jeek30.

Beverly Frantz, PhD, the video’s producer and project director of the Institute’s criminal justice initiative, says that the video is meant to enhance the already honed skills of the first responder community. “We present information and resources for first responders that might help define behaviors that they encounter and offer some methods to improve success when an event involves a person with autism.”
The Institute on Disabilities at Temple University is Pennsylvania’s University Center for Excellence, one of 67 across the country. Through training, information dissemination and assistance, the Institute strives to achieve a society where all people are valued and respected and where all people have the knowledge, opportunity and power to improve their lives and the lives of others.

This is a proud day with the release of the training program Autism thru the smoke that features the Willow Grove Fire Company, Upper Moreland Police and Horsham Fire Company EMS. Several years ago when we embarked on a journey to have every firefighter and police officer trained in Upper Moreland I would have never envisioned that it would have led us down this road. We are making the difference one program at a time and this will help us and it will be helping firefighters across the country.


-I am thankful to all the firefighters and police officers that made this possible and to my family who lives with this every day to help others.
Thanks for a job well done.

Brian Focht Fire Chief

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