Keizer Fire receives sensory bags from Autism Society of Oregon 

Keizer Fire District members Trevor Riordan,Layne Gillette and Bill Herring with members of the Autism Society of Oregon, Shane Sullivan and Tess Hudson (from left). 

In a partnership everyone wants to see more of, the Keizer Fire District and the Autism Society of Oregon came together to help those affected by traumatic circumstances with a series of sensory gift bags gifted on Feb. 14. 

The event was masterminded by Autism Society of Oregon and Keizer resident Shawn Sullivan, who has autism himself. 

Around 50 bags containing a variety of items geared towards helping soothe someone were gifted to the fire district with 10 of those given to Keizer Police as well. 

The purpose of the items is for emergency responders as well as those for who they respond to to provide something that can help calm them from a panicked state whether in an emergency or non-emergency setting. 

The tchotchke-filled bags contained things such as hearing protection, fidget spinners, stuffed animals and even non-verbal communication cards so those overwhelmed by something still have an easy method of communication. 

According to Deputy Fire Marshall Ann-Marie Storms, Sullivan and the Autism Society reached out in order to try and create more bridges between linked organizations as well as to help bring more material to help those in need. 

One of the biggest boons were the non-verbal cards as they could really help emergency workers communicate better with overwhelmed patients and children, according to Storms. 

Storms noted that while this may be the first time the organizations have gotten together it will hopefully not be the last. 

Contact Quinn Stoddard
[email protected] or 503-390-1051

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