Mustang FD hosts Autism Community Risk Reduction Day

MUSTANG, Okla. (KFOR) – The scene of a fire can be chaotic and unnerving especially for those with sensory sensitivities, like autism.

“It can be debilitating,” said Carley Marissa Dummitt, the marketing and community outreach coordinator for the Autism Foundation of Oklahoma. “A lot of autistic people or children with autism, at times they become so overwhelmed they can’t move.”

LOCAL NEWS: Moore residents frustrated by problem intersection

According to the CDC, 1 in every 36 children in the United States have autism.

“Mustang has around 7,500 kids in it, 18 or under, that are within our city limits,” said Mustang Fire Marshal Eric Halter. “So, it puts us around that 250 mark of kids that would be living in our city limits that have autism. So, the need is there.”

Learning how prevalent it is prompted Halter to launch the department’s first Autism Community Risk Reduction Day.

“We will specify community risk reduction with wandering and fire prevention and swimming,” said Halter. “You can’t do just the blanket fire prevention message or risk reduction message that you normally do… We’ll do individual plans for each family that comes in or discuss their needs.”

Among those partnering with the department is the Oklahoma Autism Foundation. Spokeswoman Carly Marissa Dummitt said preparation is key.

LOCAL NEWS: Oklahoma Human Services Energy Crisis Assistance Program now accepting applications

“I think a big part of advocacy is education and this is what that is,” said Dummitt. “It truly is a matter of life and death. If your child is not prepared to act in that situation, they may not come out of it.”

The event is April 6 at Mustang Fire Department Station 1. It will be held from 10 a.m. to noon.

The address is 465 W. State Hwy 152, Mustang, OK 73064.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to Oklahoma City.