Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano, Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino, the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management, Nassau County EMS Academy today announced an Autism Awareness Training Seminar will be held on Wednesday, August 31st at 7pm in the Morrelly Homeland Security Center, located at 510 Grumman Road West in Bethpage. All Nassau County’s first responders are welcome to attend the training, which will be administered by nationally recognized experts - Sergeant Jimmy Donohoe of the Pensacola Police Department in Florida and Captain Bill Cannata of the Westbrook Fire Department in Massachusetts.
County Executive Mangano stated, “It is essential for first responders to understand individuals on the spectrum and be prepared to effectively and safely respond to situations involving individuals with autism. This training seminar will provide first responders with information and guidelines for effectively communicating with individuals with autism in emergency situations.”
Supervisor Santino said, “This is an excellent seminar for our first responders. Just as each emergency differs from the next, so does the individual involved, especially in regards to people on the autism spectrum. By better understanding neighbors on the spectrum, our first responders will be able to better recognize and respond appropriately.”
This seminar will provide education for emergency responders on: what autism is; how people are affected by it; and the different levels of autism and how to deal with it. Attendees will also learn tools to help identify people with autism and sensory problems; calming techniques when necessary restraints are required; and important tips on where to look for a lost child with autism when reported missing.
Captain Bill Cannata is retired from the fire service and is now the Program Director of the Autism and Law Enforcement Education Coalition. Sergeant Jimmy Donohoe of the Pensacola Police Department is the creator of the Take Me Home Program - a database used by emergency responders to identify people in need of special assistance. Both professionals sit on the Autism Society of America’s Safe & Sound Task Force and are fathers with children on the spectrum.
The training session is approved for three EMS CME credits by the Nassau Regional Emergency Medical Services Council (REMSCO). Seating is limited to 150 people. To reserve a seat, please call the Nassau EMS Academy at (516) 572-8530.