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Autism Law & Emergency Response Training

What is the ALERT Program?

ALERT provides training for First Responders so they can better serve people with Autism in an emergency situation.

Every training is led by a first responder who has a family member on the autism spectrum. Having different perspectives allows facilitators to provide a comprehensive overview of Autism Spectrum Disorder, including growth rates, theories, common characteristics, behavioral symptoms, and sensory issues. The program will also address effective communication methods while providing practical skills to first responders on how to successfully interact with a person on the autism spectrum during an emergency situation.

When are trainings held?

Training sessions are scheduled on a date and time most convenient for your department.

Who do I contact to schedule
a training session?

Email us at or call us at (803) 748-5020 for more information.

Who is the trainer?

Workshop Participants May Be Eligible For Continuing Education Credits
Meet Our ALERT Trainers

A.L.E.R.T. Success Stories

The week following the Greenville training, I was called by one of our paramedics on the scene of a call with a woman with Autism. He was asking about the appropriateness of sedating her. I was able to ask him some questions about her behavior and offer some tips to help him deal with the situation. Ultimately, I went out to the scene to assist. As soon as I pulled up, I recognized the house from a call I ran as a relatively new paramedic 13 years earlier. Using the information I learned, we were able to calm the patient and safely transport her to the hospital for an evaluation.                  

~Chris Ruggiero

Greenville County EMS

In the Grand Canyon, we recently had an incident with an individual with Autism. A ranger who was on the scene had attended an ALERT training session. Because of the information presented in the class, the ranger remembered how to de-escalate the situation, and the individual was safely taken care of.

~Bob Derr

Volunteer, National Park Service

The ALERT program has been made possible through funding provided by the SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs and by the South Carolina Physicians Care Charity. Special thanks to Retired Battalion Chief Robert Derr for facilitating trainings throughout the state. 

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