Senator George Amedore recently introduced legislation (S.7598) that establishes a training program for first responders for handling emergency situations involving individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities.
If enacted, this piece of legislation would provide for training of emergency responders so that they may better recognize the symptoms and characteristics of people with developmental disabilities. The training would teach emergency responders how to appropriately respond to individuals who display such characteristics and symptoms.
“Our first responders are trained to respond to a situation with a certain protocol, but this may not always be the best way to interact with individuals with developmental disabilities,” said Senator George Amedore. “It is critical that our first responders have a working knowledge of autism, and the wide variety of behaviors individuals with developmental disabilities can exhibit in emergency situations. If a first responder is able to identify that a child or adult may have a disability, they can then respond in a way that best supports the individual."
The bill has been introduced in both the Senate and the Assembly.