Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) and the International Association of Fire Fighters IAFF Local 1403, partner with Autism Speaks South Florida Chapter to help raise awareness and funds for autism research, family services and advocacy during the month of April.
MDFR and IAFF Local 1403 are proud to support Autism Awareness month by having its members wear blue t-shirts during the entire month of April. Thanks to the proceeds collected from the T-shirt sale, MDFR and IAFF Local 1403 will be presenting a $10,000 check to Autism Speaks of South Florida. .
“As first responders, it’s our responsibility to protect people by providing responsive professional and compassionate services to our citizens,” said Chief Dave Downey. “Awareness of person’s special need is crucially important to what we do at MDFR. We will continue to support the effort to raise awareness about autism and the challenges facing all those affected.”
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by social and behavioral challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors.
“MDFR firefighters and dispatchers will proudly wear the autism awareness uniform T-shirts for the month of April, as they have collectively given more than $10,000 from their own pockets toward the common goal of raising awareness in the communities they proudly serve,” said IAFF Local 1403 President Omar Blanco.
An estimated 1 in 88 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum – a 1000 percent increase in the past 40 years that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis.
Autism Speak is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatment and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.