Sheriff offering free autism medical alert seatbelt covers | News

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MIDDLETON— In honor of Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month, the Essex County Sheriff’s Department is offering free medical alert seatbelt covers to help first responders quickly identify people with autism in a vehicle.

These cloth seatbelt covers state “I have autism. I may resist help.” The cover wraps around the seatbelt that goes across a person’s chest and is secured by Velcro.

“When police and firefighters respond to a car accident, time and information are of the essence. These seatbelt covers will act as an alert to first responders that the person may need extra care and support during the emergency response,” Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger said in a prepared statement. “Car accidents are scary for anyone and can be particularly traumatic to someone with autism. These covers are a simple and easy way to make a difficult situation easier for all.”

These seatbelt covers will be available at a sensory Touch-A-Truck event this Sunday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Endicott College, Parking Log 14, 376 Hale St. in Beverly. The event is sponsored by the Endicott College Public Safety & Police Department and the Beverly Police Department.

Anyone unable to make the eventmay request a seatbelt cover by emailing Gretchen Grosky at

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