First responders receive special training in autism care

First responders receive special training in autism care

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - On Wednesday, several first responders in the area received special training on how to handle those who have autism.

The training was for all first responders and law enforcement. The presenters from the Pensacola Police Department and the Boston Fire Department came to Columbus to lead the specialized training.

"A lot of the autistic community has something in particular they are an expert on, find out what they like, so we don't have a tragedy because of that," said SGT. Jimmy Donohoe, Pensacola Police Department.

First responders were educated on how a person with autism may react when they go on the scene of a call and how they can better handle those situations-if they child is in any type of danger.

"When they arrive on the scene, the parent or the caregiver doesn't initially say the person has autism and that's one of the things they really need to understand immediately and this person has disappeared," said Diane Pope, Autism Hope Center.

Law enforcement and first responders came from Talbot, Harris County and Muscogee County.

About 3,000 people in the Chattahoochee Valley have been diagnosed with autism.

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