UPDATE: 200 adjustable headsets are headed to the department after the item was added to their Amazon wishlist.
CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – After a post on social media where the department linked an Amazon wish list of sensory kits received hundreds of shares, the department now has enough to outfit each of it’s 200 patrol cars.
The kits have small toys and gadgets children or adults with sensory concerns can play with to help remain calm and focused during an emergency situation.
Because of the outpouring of support for this effort, Harrelson says they are now looking to continue with this initiative by expanding it to the fire department.
Department officials say through this process they learned of other ways they can serve those in the community with sensory concerns. On the wish list now, are hearing protection head phones they tell News13, they would like to add to each kit.
The flashing lights, loud sirens and the strong smell of diesel fuel if a fire truck is on scene can be a lot to process for someone with sensory concerns.
“All of those things can add up and overwhelm someone who is already in a stressful situation if they have those sensory concerns,” John Harrelson, Captain of support services for the department says. “So this is just one way whether it’s an adult or a child if they have those sensory concerns, this is another tool to try to comfort them.”
Harrelson tells News13, department officials came across this idea after reading an article about a fire department in a small Ohio town.
“We ran across an article online and it was I believe, Clearwater, Ohio, had outfitted their three fire stations with sensory kits and just as a group we started brainstorming and how can we approach this,” Harrelson said. “Not only from a logistical standpoint of getting the kits, but how can we help educate ourselves and the public.”
If you would like to donate a sensory kit or hearing protection, click here.