Autism Risk Management - Information for first responders - Police, Fire, Ambulance
Captain Bill Cannata
Contact Captain Bill Cannata via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Examples from North America -
- “Thirteen-year-old boy dies in Missouri home fire.”
- “Firefighter injured rescuing 10-year-old boy.”
- “Oregon couple sentenced for fire death of 19-year-old son.”
These actual headlines all involved individuals with autism. In each case, autism contributed to the child’s death. The 13-year-old boy refused to escape with his family; his body was found in the bathroom behind a locked door. The 10-year-old was safely removed by his mother but died when he ran back into his burning home seeking the sanctuary of his bedroom. The Oregon couple often locked their son in the apartment when they went out together because he had no sense of danger and would often wander away.
Autism Safety and Risk - by Dennis Debbaudt - www.autismriskmanagment.comAutism Safety Project - http://www.autismspeaks.org/press/autism_safety_project.phpCommissioner of Chicago Police talks about Autism - http://www.autismspeaks.org/press/chicago_pd.phpMr Bill Cannata on TV - http://www.turnto10.com/jar/lifestyles/health_med_fit/article/health_check_autism_training_for_first_responders/13665/Autism and Law Enforcement Education Coalition, ALEC, website - http://www.sncarc.org/alec.htmRoyal Canadian Mounted Police - Information about Autism - http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/gazette/vol71n1/sub-rep-autism-autisme-eng.htmFire Engineering Website - "Autism Awareness" - http://www.fireengineering.com/display_article/358451/25/none/none/Depar/Autism-Awareness-for-Responders
My involvement in this activity stems from the fact that I, as a father of a young man with autism, needed to know that when I called on Police for help (or as is more often the case - when other people would call on the police - to report me and my behaviour while supporting my son) that they would come with a good understanding of the situation and that they would act appropriately, towards me and my son.
To this end, I prepared information about autism, and about my sons special needs. This information was been provided and discussed with senior officers at the major police stations in our area. Subsequently I was contacted by Victoria Police and asked to contribute to discussions regarding their new strategy and policies for supporting people with a mental disorder. Much of that information*, and the strategies I use with Luke, came from the work of Bills colleague Dennis Debbaudt at www.autismriskmanagement.com. When Dennis said that Bill was coming to Melbourne I jumped at the opportunity to have him meet with people from Victoria Police. The people from Victoria Police kindly offered the use of their facilities in Flinders Street Melbourne and have co-ordinated the attendance of people from the other services.