SCOTIA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – For Autism Awareness Month, the Scotia Permanent Firefighters Association purchased and donated three Carter Kits Sensory Bags for placement on their paramedic apparatus. The kits arrived this past week, and members have already begun training with them.

The Carter Kit is designed to help firefighters better respond to emergencies involving autistic patients. Dr. Ellen Preen, who is a neuropsychologist in Connecticut and also has a daughter on the autism spectrum, designed the bags after Justin Severs, a Saginaw Township Police Detective, mentioned the need to help special needs children in times of trauma and chaos at emergency scenes.

Inside the bags, you will find a weighted blanket, noise-canceling headphones, a set of fidget toys, sunglasses, and a non-verbal cue card. The Scotia Fire Department, now that they have their bags, will begin classroom training in the coming weeks to learn how to properly use each item. They are the second fire company in the capital region to report the purchase of the bags after the Uniform Firefighters of Cohoes received theirs earlier in the year.