Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, January 27, 2017

Chattanooga Fire Department launches SNAP training

Firefighter and paramedic Capt. Skyler Phillips created the curriculum for SNAP.

For years, Chattanooga law enforcement departments have benefited from specialized crisis intervention team training. This intense instruction teaches police the best methods, strategies and techniques for interacting with marginalized populations, including people with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The program has resulted in improved outcomes for both police officers and individuals with disabilities.

The need for similar training for first responders has been recognized for some time. Thanks to Capt. Skyler Phillips of the Chattanooga Fire Department, this training program is now a reality.

Phillips is a fire fighter and paramedic; he’s also the proud father of a son with autism. This unique perspective led Phillips to create a curriculum that equips first responders with the insight, knowledge and best practices they need when encountering citizens with special needs.

The Special Needs Awareness Program (SNAP) offers insight into the cognitive, sensory, behavioral, physical, medical and communication challenges that often exist in situations involving individuals with special needs.

Orange Grove Center’s Director of the Morton J. Kent Habilitation Center, Dr. Rick Rader, has been tapped to contribute to the content of the course.

Part of the program includes familiarization visits to group homes. This will allow first responders to learn the layout of the homes and prepare them to better handle a variety of emergencies.

The first SNAP training session was conducted Jan. 9.

Source: Morton J. Kent Habilitation Center