Regina Fire Launches New Autism Alert Program
Regina Fire and Protective Services (RFPS) recently launched a new initiative, the Autism Alert Program, designed to notify RFPS first responders that a resident with autism resides at a dispatched address in an emergency.
“RFPS is committed to making Regina a safe community and takes a proactive approach to protect the lives of its residents through public education programs, specialized training, and community programs,” said Fire Chief Layne Jackson. “The Autism Alert Program provides dispatched crews with critical information to assist in locating a person if they are hiding, as well as providing necessary care, such as de-escalating a situation and removing triggers and other stimulants.”
Community request prompted the development of the program, which included consultations with the City of Regina, the Autism Resource Centre, parents and the Senior Mental Health Therapist with oversight support from the Autism Program at Child & Youth Services.
The Autism Alert Program launched in July 2021. As part of the launch, all RFPS operations staff were provided with training to increase their awareness and understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Currently, the program is only for Regina residents who have been diagnosed with ASD. It may, however, be expanded in the future to include more community members living with a disability.
To register a loved one or client, parents and caregivers can email FAST@regina.ca. There is no charge to enroll in the program. Registration is valid for one calendar year and must be renewed annually.