Sensory Bags Added to EMS Toolbox
By RFD Watchdesk
November 27, 2019

A growing trend in the EMS community are emergencies which involve someone who has Autism Spectrum Disorder. ASD refers to a group of complex neurodevelopment disorders characterized by repetitive and characteristic patterns of behavior and difficulties with social communication and interaction. One of the challenges for first responders is being able to make a connection with these patients as the situation at times becomes overstimulating and thus overwhelming causing negatives reactions. One of the tools we've added to our ambulances to assist in these dynamic situations are "sensory bags" which contain a handful of small toys and tactile stimuli to help calm a patient who may be in a state of over-stimulation. In addition to these new sensory bags the entire Department took part in Autism Awareness Training in May. By coupling these new bags and our training we are more prepared to interact, calm, direct questions, and perform assessments which provide for a more positive experience.