FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. - The latest FOX 35 Care Force Award recognizes Flagler County Fire Rescue Lieutenant Jon Moscowitz, who created sensory boxes filled with toys and gadgets that first responders can use to help calm children with sensory concerns during emergent or stressful situations.
Lt. Moscowitz has personal experience with navigating sensory issues with his four-year-old daughter, Brooklynn.
"My daughter has autism. I have always seen within the emergency medical services, fire department, a blind spot on how we can establish that relationship in that difficult situation with somebody that has that sort of condition," Moscowitz told FOX 35.
So, he and his wife, Cherish, created these sensory boxes, called "Brookie's Boxes," – named after his daughter -- and filled them with items to help comfort children. They're filled with books, fidget toys, stuffed animals, Slinky, even ear muffs.
"It is a resource we can use to help calm the situation in the event of an emergency with someone who has a sensory processing disorder. Make the environment more tolerable, make it more reasonable for them to feel comfortable," Jon said.
And they're now in every emergency vehicle in Flager County.
They designed the items in the box to help engage in all five senses and limit sensory overload.
"There are several items in there. Some fidget-type toys to help them if they are seeking that sensory input. If we are on the side of the road, and it's a car accident and there are loud noises of cars passing by, there is a set of earmuffs in there we can give them to put on to quiet the environment," he said.
Their goal is to have these boxes in every agency in Central Florida.
The FOX 35 Care Force Award recognizes first responders and others doing incredible things for their communities. You can nominate someone by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.