Five area fire departments will be better equipped when they encounter autistic children thanks to a donation of “Carter Kits.”
The kits are named after 5-year-old Carter Severs of Frankenmuth who has autism spectrum disorder, and whose father, Justin Severs, is a Saginaw Township Police Detective.
Severs heard about departments in Ohio using kits filled with items that can help calm and comfort an autistic child, and told friends including Saginaw Firefighter Brandon Hausbeck and realtor Andrew Keller. Keller took the initiative to put the kits together and donate them.
Because autistic children can be frightened or agitated in a chaotic and scary situation requiring emergency responders, Carter Kits include things like noise-cancelling earmuffs, a weighted blanket, sunglasses and special toys.
The kits were presented Thursday, December 12 to Saginaw Township, Frankenmuth and Birch Run Police, the Saginaw Fire Department and MMR.
Keller said they hope to expand the program to other departments.