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Norfolk County Sheriff Jerry McDermott shows an autism seat belt cover with a Fallon Ambulance Service EMT. The ambulance service and the sheriff are teaming up in a program to alert first responders about people in emergencies who are on the autism spectrum.

Norfolk County Sheriff Jerry McDermott will partner with Fallon Ambulance Service to help distribute autism awareness seat belt covers in the community.

The sheriff’s office recently began supplying the covers, which alert first responders that someone in a car is on the autism spectrum and may not necessarily be cooperative with those trying to help them during an emergency.

The covers display the words, “I have autism; I may resist help.” They slip over the straps of a seat belt and are available free of charge at police departments throughout Norfolk County, including Plainville, Wrentham, Foxboro and Norfolk.

The sheriff’s office is working with several organizations on the project, including the Flutie Foundation, the Arc of Massachusetts and Autism Speaks.

“Fallon Ambulance has been an outstanding partner in the community. I’d like to thank them for stepping up and volunteering to serve as a distribution center for our autism seat belt covers,” McDermott said in a statement.

In addition to assisting with the seat belt cover program, Fallon is also a partner of the sheriff’s “Are You OK?” program.

In the program, enrolled seniors living independently receive a phone call at a requested time between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. If there is no answer, a second call is automatically placed five minutes later. If there is still no answer, the sheriff’s office will call a designated person or public safety officials to conduct a check.

David Linton may be reached at 508-236-0338.

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