Assemblyman Michael Montesano has announced co-sponsorship of a bill (A.223) which would allow the commissioner of developmental disabilities, along with other agency representatives, to create an autism training program for first responders statewide. This would teach first responders how to handle emergency situations in which individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may be involved. Included in the program would be law enforcement officers and firefighters, both paid and volunteer, among other first responders across the state of New York.
“Every day first responders come in contact with a variety of individuals who are as unique as the emergency situations themselves,” said Montesano. “While first responders are trained to deal with a variety of crisis situations, the protocols they are taught to follow may not be the best way to interact with a person with an ASD. This is why it is crucial for our first responders to understand ASDs and the behaviors individuals with an ASD could exhibit should the first responders need to assist them as best they can.”