4/14/2014 4:21 PM
by Stuart Hammer
BECKLEY – A nationally-recognized fire educator is bringing his training course to Southern West Virginia this month.
The Beckley Fire Department will be receiving autism training from a 34-year veteran of firefighting, Bill Cannata. He has served in Massachusetts, but tours across the country to train first-responders on how to handle those affected by autism.
Captain Ed Thompson of the Beckley Fire Dept. says it's important to learn how to recognize and treat people who have autism, because it could be the matter of life or death.
“They can behave differently than what we're used to. When we go on a fire run, we expect people to run to us to let us help them, and that may not necessarily be the case with this.”
Training sessions will be held April 28 through April 30, and the Beckley Fire Dept. is expecting first-responders from across the state to visit.