Wednesday, December 9, 2009

CBC Interviews - Autism Search & Rescue, challenges & strategies

Our deepest sympathies go out to
James Delorey's family, friends and community

CBC contacted me the morning of December 8th, after James had been found in thick brush and snow, two days and nights after following his dog Chance into the woods near his home in Cape Breton. James had been airlifted to the IWK Children's Hospital in Halifax in critical condition suffering from extreme hypothermia. They wanted to do a story on "the challenges or strategies that could be involved in searching for a lost person with autism" and because Alex and I had given a training session to PEI's Ground Search and Rescue volunteers in January, they hoped I could provide that information.

Moments before the interview began, Kerry Campbell got a call informing him that James had died. He relayed that information to me. As soon as he left I sent him the following email, part of which he shares in the TV News interview.


Just so you know..... I could acknowledge the news of James' death or do that interview but not both. I wish I could have expressed my sympathies at the time but then you wouldn't have your interview.

It's good that parents of Island autistics will know that PEI's Search & Rescue members have autism specific training. Especially now.


The interview resulted in the following CBC TV Compass News Interview (2:27) and CBC Radio Island Morning interview (6:47)

For more information on Alex's ID bracelet, click HERE

I'd like to repeat some thank you's
I made in that post after our January presentation:

Thank you Phil for inviting me. Thank you Dennis for supporting & advising me and for sending me your yet-to-be-released First Responder video to show, and getting it here, just in the nick of time. Thank you Brian for your moral support and wise contributions. Thanks too to the SAR guys who took care of the technical end of things for me today. And to all the volunteers who make up PEI's Search and Rescue - thank you for today's great discussion and your kind words of feedback afterwards. Thanks especially for the work that you do and the work that you are prepaired to do. I hope you learned some valuable things today but I also hope you'll never have to put any of that knowledge to use in a rescue and/or emergency situation.

Thank you for helping us make PEI a better, safer, place for all autistics.


Kim Wombles said...

All three of mine have bracelets with their names, addresses, phone number and autism on it. Have for years. While they don't wear them the time any longer, we have them for trips.

I used to when the bright boy was little and we were on long trips stamp him on his belly and arm with our address stamper (no cheap and easy way then to get bracelets).

Thank you for demonstrating that it's possible to do more than complain about things; you can actually do something.

Unknown said...

This is wonderful!

I tended to wander bit as a kid- I didn't feel like I was wandering, I was just doing my thing, but my mum says it scared her a lot! It's also one of the things I did when I started school that tipped her off to get me assessed- I was getting off the bus at school and instead of going inside as expected, would wander around the school property until someone would realize and come find me! (I also hid under my desk, and didn't learn to read until 3rd grade- though by 5th, had a college reading level.)

I Also wandered off by myself in the MET when I was 7- family outing to see the modern art section, which I didn't GET till I was 18, and I wanted to look at the historical stuff. Thankfully my mom knew what I was into enough that they found me before anything bad could happen. I still vividly remember the exhibits I saw. Sadly, there was one that I adored that I think was temporary because It wasn't there any of the times I went back.

Thank you for posting this! Is it okay if I link you in my blog?

Sullivan said...

I wish I had as good way to express condolences to the family as your post.

I wanted to write something on search and rescue, and I am so glad you did this. I assume you won't mind me embedding your YouTube clips into a post.

Thanks very much for doing that.

jypsy said...

Yes, please feel free to link to here, embed these videos etc.

Sullivan said...

Jypsy and Alex,

I have a post up--I'd appreciate critical feedback. Via email if you wish (