Bill Cannata has been a member of the fire service for 33 years. Bill has been an officer with the Westwood Fire Department for the past fourteen years. He also has been a Massachusetts Fire Academy instructor for 15 years. Bill became a member of Autism and Law Enforcement Education Coalition (ALEC) in November 2003. In January of 2006, he became the statewide coordinator of ALEC. ALEC currently educates first responders across the state of Massachusetts about Autism Spectrum Disorder and how to better understand a person who is on the spectrum. ALEC has trained over 12,000 first responders in Massachusetts.
Bill is currently the co-chairman for the Autism Society National Task Force.
Bill is also the parent of a child with ASD.
Laura Marchildon is a graduate Developmental Services Worker and has worked for 17 years a Special Needs Educational Assistant enriching the lives of children, youth and adults of varying disorders and degrees of developmental delays.
During this time, Laura joined the fire service and for the past 9 years served in the roles of Volunteer Fire Fighter, Public Educator and Fire Chief in a rural setting of Northern Ontario. Laura effectively modified her fire safety programs to meet the abilities of special needs students thereby empowering a young student with Pervasive Developmental Disorder to save the lives of her family during an emergency and who later was recognized with a Provincial Fire Safety Action Award for her heroic actions.
Laura has earned her certification as a Public Fire and Life Safety Educator and recently accepted a position with the Georgina Fire Department (Ontario) as an Inspector and Public Educator. She offers her community a wide variety of programs to meet the needs of all.
Tom Buckley has been a member of the Foxborough Fire Department since 1990 and a Captain since 2004. Tom is a member of Autism and Law Enforcement Education Coalition (ALEC) and has been delivering the program to Massachusetts and Rhode Island firefighters since 2004. Tom is on the Board of Directors of "Bailey's Team" a non-profit foundation that raises money to support organizations and individuals who fund research and or provide training, resources, services and aid to individuals living with autism spectrum disorders and their families. Tom and his wife also started "Long Strides for Louis" in 2001 to raise money in honor of their nephew Louis who has Autism. "Long Strides for Louis" has raised over $150,000.00 for national autism foundations and Louis's school since that date.
Jason Dorval has been a member of the fire service and an Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic for over 10 years, most recently as a firefighter with the Whately (Ma) Fire Department and a Paramedic for American Medical Response in Western Massachusetts. He is a Certified Public Fire and Life Safety Educator and serves as the Public Fire and Life Safety Education Coordinator in Whately. Jason has worked to design fire education programs for the disabled and non- disabled in Whately school system. Jason became a member of Autism and Law Enforcement Education Coalition (ALEC) in January of 2007 as an instructor. Jason is also a Corporator of The Association for Community Living, and a charter board member and former Vice President of The Down Syndrome Resource Group of Western Massachusetts. He is the father of 4 children including a 10 year old son Connor who has Down Syndrome and Autism.