Bourne First Responders Get Equipment to Help Those with Autism

BOURNE – The Bourne Fire Department has equipped its apparatus and other departments throughout the area with new sensory kits to help people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other disabilities remain calm during emergency situations.

Bourne was awarded a $3,500 grant from the Cape Cod Foundation to purchase sensory kits to help de-escalate stressful situations for those unable to handle excess stimulation.

With the use of grant funds, the department created 250 kits and is in the process of distributing 225 kits to area police and fire departments.

The kits carry sensory items that can help calm those with ASD and other disabilities who may become upset by commotion, bright lights or loud noises. The kits include dry-erase lapboard kits, sunglasses, earmuffs, fidget devices and a picture communication board, all inside a drawstring bag.

All Bourne first responders will have access to these kits during emergency situations to distribute as needed.

“These kits are valuable when responding to emergency incidents as they provide tools to help community members with sensory issues remain calm,” Chief David Cody said.

“We are pleased to have been able to not only receive grant funding to equip our department with these kits, but also receive enough funding to equip first responders in the area. It is our hope that with these kits, we will be able to better serve all demographics in our communities.”

With guidance from the Bourne Fire Department, Happy Hope Factory purchased the supplies and packaged the bags for the program.

Departments will be able to reuse the communication tools and restock the bags with a supply of spare sunglasses, earmuffs and sensory tools.

Any department in the area interested in the kits may contact Bourne Fire/Rescue and Emergency Services Assistant Chief David Pelonzi at [email protected] or 508-759-0600 ext 2223.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
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