By Jennifer Mehigan
This Saturday, March 23, Boston EMS EMT Beth Rimas will be on hand at the first ALEC Program Community Day, talking with family members and giving vehicle and equipment tours with other emergency responders. The ALEC (Autism & Law Enforcement Education Coalition) Program works to educate families with autistic members about first responders and to familiarize them in case of an emergency.
“These kids thrive on routine. Things need to be predictable,” EMT Rimas said. “A 911 call is never routine. The goal is to make a child more comfortable and less stressed.”
EMT Rimas, who received the department’s 2012 Edward J. Pike Community Service Award for her 7 years as an ALEC trainer and her extensive autism education and outreach efforts, has helped train Boston EMS staff and other emergency personnel across the region on strategies for approaching, treating and transporting persons in the autism spectrum.
The event will be held from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., this Saturday, March 23, at the Boston Fire Department Station, located at 945 Canterbury Street, Roslindale. The fire house will be open to residents who are diagnosed with autism and other related developmental disabilities and their families. Staff from Boston Fire, Boston Police and Boston EMS will be on hand to meet with families and answer any questions. A Boston EMS ambulance and other emergency vehicles will be there to help expose families to the equipment they may see in an emergency situation.
This program is a collaborative effort of The Arc of South of Norfolk ALEC Program, Boston Police Department, Boston Fire Department, and Boston EMS and is sponsored by The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism. More events are being planned in other neighborhoods. More about The Arc of South of Norfolk ALEC Program can be found at www.arcsouthnorfolk.org/alec-first-responder-training.html
More about Boston EMS can be found at www.cityofboston.gov/ems.
Jennifer if the director of media relations for Boston EMS. Follow her on Twitter @Boston_EMS