MARKLE, Ind. (WANE) — Huntington County firefighters will soon learn how to better help people with Autism during emergencies.
“We are strangers coming into their home,” said Jon Gray, Markle Fire Department Chief. “It’s really important that we can help serve all the individuals. We’ve been on a few calls in the last 10 years I’ve been on the department where we have had Autistic children, and it has been a challenge to serve them. I think this is only going to make it easier for all of us.”
The Markle Fire Department will be hosting an Autism awareness class on Nov. 13. The advocacy group Ben’s Blue Bags will be teaching firefighters items and techniques they can use to help those with Autism in times of need.
“Sometimes our lights and gear can overwhelm those we are trying to help,” Gray said. “The founder of the group (Ben’s Blue Bags) will be able to walk us through items to help our community with those with Autism or a speech impediment
The training will last about two hours and other area fire departments will also be in attendance.
The class is being funded by the Nate Mills Foundation. Mills was a former Marco firefighter as well as a Fort Wayne firefighter that died from cancer in 2015. The foundations were set up in his name to fund training for first responders.