In the event of an emergency, it’s important that First Responders have as much information as possible to respond effectively and efficiently. When it comes to addressing emergencies with individuals on the Autism Spectrum and students and adults with intellectual or physical disabilities, it’s of great importance to have this information in order to respond most appropriately.
Dispatch can play a key role in helping to determine the proper staff and equipment needed to respond to an emergency. When First Responders are aware of the disabilities and deficits that are present in individuals prior to arriving at the scene, the emergency can be swiftly and adequately handled. For example, knowing that a person in danger may be nonverbal, or verbal with social deficits can be vital to help the First Responders know how to best address the situation.
Unfortunately, in most cases dispatch only has information on a limited number of the disabled population, which includes the blind and elderly. In order to support a larger disabled population, PUSD is partnering with Plumas County Dispatch to collect adult’s and children’s disability information to be logged and saved in the dispatch system.
Jennifer Kimball and Laura Blesse are the brainpower behind this life-saving idea. Kimball is a PUSD Special Education teacher and the California Autism Professional Training and Information Network (CAPTAIN) Representative for Plumas Unified. Laura Blesse is the PUSD Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) Director. Their goal is to enhance Plumas County’s resources, awareness, and support for those on the Autism spectrum and those with other disabilities.
Plumas County Dispatch is partnering with PUSD as a public service to the community and is more than happy to be given the information to input. In the future, Kimball hopes to also do trainings and workshops with First Responders to educate them on various mental and physical disabilities.
To collect this information, PUSD will have a booth at the Children’s Fair on Saturday, May 20th and at the Plumas County Picnic on Saturday, June 3rd. Both events will be held at the Plumas County Fairgrounds in Quincy, CA. Families, parents, and community members will be able to fill out a form with information regarding their particular disability. Information collected will include name, birthday, address, type of disability, and the severity of the disability, along with any other relevant information, including behavioral triggers. All information will be delivered to Plumas County Dispatch to securely input into their system.
Note that it is up to the parent or adult to update this information if the child or individual moves locations. It is recommended that to ensure ultimate safety anyone with a disability should always have a landline.
We encourage all community members and their children to come by the PUSD booth at either event to fill out a form to help ensure that, in the event of an emergency, the best care possible can be given.
For any further information or questions contact Jennifer Kimball at firstname.lastname@example.org