First responders have noticed a troubling trend: they are frequently going on calls for backyard drownings involving children with autism. It’s one of the worst calls they go on; not only because they involve children, but because they’re preventable. Children with autism have a propensity to wander, and when there are unfenced pools and lakes in their neighborhood, they can quickly find themselves in trouble. From 2009 to 2011, accidental drownings accounted for 91% of deaths for children with autism.
Justin Lewis and Brent Avey are firefighters who each have a child on the spectrum, and they wanted to raise awareness of this startling statistic while funneling support into programs that help. So they founded Firefighters VS. Autism. They have apparel, calendars for both men and women, and much more. Per their website: Through various fund raising events and merchandise sales, we are able to host workshops for first responders and care givers, provide swim lesson and drowning awareness opportunities to families impacted by Autism, pool fencing to families who cannot otherwise afford it, and community wandering awareness seminars as well as therapy events for those effected by Autism. We also provide education and/or counseling for those families dealing with an individual with Autism.
Here, they sit down with the cohosts of The Morning Blend to talk about what they’re doing to raise awareness. Watch the video to hear more from these impressive firefighters (and learn how to get one of their calendars)!Whizzco