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Fire and EMS Autism Training Bill, We need your support.

Illinois Senate Bill 676 provides that fire and EMS personnel must undergo training to identify and interact with persons with autism. Passage of this bill can affect about 14,000 people in Illinois that have some level of autism and their families. We really need to start a grass roots effort to support this bill. When you Google it, there is really not much information on it at all. Do you have a facebook page or an e-mail mailing list that we can get this letter out to? This is important legislation that could easily die as most new legislation does when it does not pertain to the masses. We know there is a need for this training. I know everyone is busy, but please help me on this one while it is still a possibility. We may never get this chance again!

The bill has passed the Senate and seems to be stuck in the House. We need everyone's support ASAP. Here is a link where you can find out who your local State Representative is and how to contact them. http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/officials/ I would also suggest sending it to your local State Senator as it could go back to the Senate for one reason or another. Here is another way to contact your local legislator: http://2gov.org/ I would use as many ways as possible to assure passage of this important bill.

To support Illinois Senate Bill 676 visit http://autismtraining.2gov.org/.

Below is a sample letter you can use when contacting your Representative or Senator:


(Today's Date)

Dear Representative (Please fill in your state representative's name),

or

Dear Senator (Please fill in your state senator's name),

Illinois Senate Bill 676 provides that fire and EMS personnel must undergo training to identify and interact with persons with autism.

Every first responder knows that time is crucial in any emergency situation. What they don't know, is an individual with autism during a fire or other situation may react unpredictably. They may hide, scream, be uncooperative or become unresponsive and shut down all together. The time lost by not understanding or not being able to communicate with individuals with autism during an emergency could make an already dangerous situation worse or even deadly for the individuals or firefighters involved.

We have 1055 fire stations in Illinois, 47,944 firefighters in all. There are approximately 14,000 persons from age 3-22 in IL with some degree of autism. This means there are 3 firefighters to come to the aid of every person with autism. If every IL first responder was trained to work with persons with autism in an emergency situation, imagine the peace of mind it would afford parents and caregivers. If not, imagine the possible disaster. Training can be a reality with this legislation.

As a (Choose one: parent, caregiver, teacher, grandparent, friend, etc). of an individual with autism, the passage of Illinois Senate Bill 676 is very important to me.

With 1 in 100 children being diagnosed with some level of autism, at some point an individual with autism will become a part of everyone's life. It may be one's own child, a relative, student or a friend.

Sincerely,

(Your Name Here)