Livingston County EMS adds gear aid for those with special needs

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Courtesy: Livingston County

HOWELL, Mich. (WLNS) —- EMS professionals of Livingston County have been given a new, sensory-friendly tool to help those with special needs.

Thanks to the 2021 Michigan Trauma System Development grant, EMS were able to purchase 130 Carter Kit sensory bags that will be distributed across 19 Livingston County ambulances. EMS’ purchase is the largest purchase of Carter Kits to date.

First responders oftentimes find themselves in situations where the high stress and loud noises can often create fear within the person that they are trying to help. Carter Kits are useful in situations where there is either an adult or child on the scene who has special needs or has issues with sensory overload.

Carter Kits contain a weighted blanket, noise-canceling headphones, sunglasses, fidget toys and a non-verbal cue card.

Ryan Dennett, Education Supervisor for Livingston County EMS, said the following about the use of Carter Kits,

Livingston County EMS is thrilled that we were able to bring Carter Kits to the community. It’s exciting to find a tool that focuses on these patients, provides awareness, educates the public, and assists our providers in having a better patient interaction. We want first responders prepared to treat all patients, and that includes patients with autism or Sensory Processing Disorders, because we believe, we can do it better.”

Carter Kits came to be after Saginaw Township Police Department detective Justin Severs saw a need to help children, like his own, have access to helpful resources during a time of sensory overload. More than 600 Carter Kits have been distributed to departments in 24 states. For more information about Carter Kits, click here.

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