On Thursday, September 29, 2022, the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) joined the San Gabriel/Pomona Regional Center (SG/PRC) to host an online panel discussion between first responders and families, caregivers, and individuals with special needs.
The SG/PRC is one of 21 regional centers throughout California that locally serves and supports more than 14,000 families and individuals with developmental disabilities within its catchment area.
Deputy Fire Chief Eleni Pappas, Medical Director Dr. Clayton Kazan, and Fire Captain Chiyoshi Hasegawa as well as Communications Manager Karen Zarsadiaz-Ige presented on behalf of the Department, alongside members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Pomona Police Department.
The online panel discussion was a follow-up event to the Department’s first annual A Special Day with First Responders that took place in April during Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month.
This second virtual event allowed families the opportunity to learn more about how they can prepare their loved ones and homes for emergencies as well as share their thoughts on how to best approach their family members during incidents. First responders also shared what training they have received and any resources they have available for special needs families.
Created for and by Department team members, the LACoFD is proud to promote and share Sirens of Silence, its award-winning autism and special needs awareness, education, and inclusion program. For more information about this impactful program and how it spreads the message of kindness, please visit fire.lacounty.gov/sirens-of-silence.