The Bloomington Fire Department is now better equipped to serve patients with disabilities

Local News

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — The Bloomington Fire Department now has new way to treat patients with disabilities.

Starting next week all Bloomington Fire paramedic vehicles will be equipped with sensory bags. The bags have tools in them to help paramedic personnel aid autistic patients dealing with a sensory overload.

“A lot of these kids have a hard time communicating and when there’s an emergency,” said Dawn Wilson, President of CPR 4 EMI. “I think it’s really important that these guys have tools to be able to communicate with these kids.”

The idea came from Dawn Wilson, a mother whose autistic daughter died from choking last September. When Emily passed, Wilson wanted to create a way to help patients with disabilities facing crisis. 

“She was 13 but was maybe more educationally at a 5 or 6 year old level,” said Wilson. “My daughter probably didn’t speak real well until she was 7 or 8 so there’s a lot of kids on the spectrum that are nonverbal. They have no other way to communicate unless they have their IPad or another device to communicate with.

Eric Davison from the Bloomington Fire Department says as we learn more about autism, bags like this are invaluable.

“These are just great tools,” said Davison. “Any tool that we can have just makes us do that much better of a job when serving the community.”

Dawn Wilson says she’s not stopping here. She is currently reaching out to every fire department in McLean County in hopes no parent has to face the heartbreak she did. 

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