SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Jazz guard Joe Ingles extended his gratitude for first responders in the Salt Lake area for completing training to become the world’s first sensory inclusive certified department.
In October, Ingles teamed with Mayor Erin Mendenhall and Police Chief Mike Brown to discuss plans to train the city’s first responders on how to better interact with citizens varying sensory needs.
Working with KultureCity, the nation’s leading nonprofit on sensory accessibility and acceptance, Ingles and the city’s leaders saw that plan come to fruition on Friday.
“Renae and I, and KultureCity are so proud to have collaborated with the mayor and the leadership of Salt Lake City to make the entire first responder department the first sensory inclusive certified first responder department in the entire world,” Ingles said in his recorded comments. “All of the police, fire rescue, EMTs, and 911 operators were trained on how to help those with sensory needs and invisible disabilities.”
The Ingles’ who have a son with autism reached out to the city after a 13-year-old boy with autism spectrum disorder was shot by members of the Salt Lake City Police Department in September. Police responded to the scene after the boy’s mother called 911 seeking help as the boy was experiencing a mental health crisis.
“A huge thank you to Mayor Mendenhall and Chief Mike Brown who were the first ones I contacted about this after the incident that happened,” Ingles said.
The training involves teaching first responders how to react with empathy, compassion, and the necessary skills, particularly when interacting with those who are the most vulnerable.