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- Autism & Law Enforcement Education Coalition (ALEC) of The Arc of South Norfolk Family Autism Center has been awarded a Fire Prevention and Safety Grant of $154,970 under the Department of Homeland Securityís Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.
These federal funds will support the expansion of the Autism & Law Enforcement Education Coalition (ALEC) which provides First Responders with training necessary to recognize and assist children and adults diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. ALEC will train 20 United States International Airport Fire Departments as well as various Fire Departments in 12 states throughout the U.S. This is the second Fire Prevention and Safety Grant The Arc of South Norfolk ALEC Program has received in the past 3 years. With the success of the implementation of the ALEC Program throughout Massachusetts and 14 states throughout the U.S., ALEC is looking to expand their scope of services to include additional regions. Captain Bill Cannata, Project Coordinator of the ALEC Program, has identified Firefighters who have a child or loved one diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum to conduct the trainings. This model of training ensures professionalism in the field of Firefighting as well as direct knowledge of Autism Spectrum Disorders. The ALEC Program was founded in 2003 and began as a group of concerned parents and First Responders who recognized the need for training that assisted Firefighters, Law Enforcement and EMTs to effectively respond to situations involving individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. As the District Attorney of Norfolk County, Congressman Keating spearheaded this initiative in collaboration with The Arc of South Norfolk. To date, ALEC has trained over 21,000 First Responders and made the program available through video to the entire New York Fire Department.
ALEC Project Coordinator Bill Cannata featured on The Today Show!
On March 1, 2012, ALEC (Autism & Law Enforcement Education Coalition) Project Coordinator Captain Bill Cannata was featured on The Today Show/MSNBC for his work in training First Responders on crisis intervention strategies involving people with Autism. View the clip