First Responder Training

Parkinson’s Awareness Training for First Responders

Unique symptoms of Parkinson’s can be mishandled and misunderstood in emergency situations. This new web-based program will educate police, firefighters and emergency service providers and help save lives.

The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) has partnered with the Office of Continuing Professional Education (OCPE) at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, to provide a web-based, user friendly program for police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical service providers to help them recognize the unique symptoms and needs of those with Parkinson’s disease and enable them to provide the best and most appropriate care.

The Parkinson’s Awareness Training program meets the educational goals in Section 4b4 of the New Jersey Parkinson’s Disease Public Awareness and Education Act (A-2576.). The statute, signed into New Jersey state law in December 2014, was driven by APDA’s New Jersey Chapter and called specifically for the development of an educational program to educate and empower first responders to not only know the signs and symptoms to look for, but also to know how to best treat and care for people living with Parkinson’s disease. With a new diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease every nine minutes, this training is critically important.

About the Training Module

The web program is a 1-2 hour course with instructional videos intended to provide overall education on Parkinson’s disease and information on protocols for the first responder when interacting with a person who shows the signs of Parkinson’s. To date the program has been posted on training websites in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Other states will be adding the program in the coming year; CEUs may be available through these states’ websites.