First responders will get training on how to respond to calls from the disabled and those who suffer from conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, under a bill signed into law.
Governor Jay Inslee signed the “Travis Alert Act” with 12-year-old Travis King, who has autism, by his side.
“Special thanks to Travis and his family from showing such great leadership on this issue,” said Inslee.
When King was 6 years old, he walked out of his house and could not be found. His mother, Threasa King, called 911 and Travis was eventually found unharmed in an irrigation ditch.
She feared what would happen the next time her son disappeared, so she wanted to find a way 911 dispatchers would know about Travis’ condition and history.
The Travis Alert Act enables the disabled to document their conditions through the Enhanced 911 system so dispatchers will instantly know about a person’s disabilities when someone is calling about them.
The legislation also requires training for first responders so they can learn how to deal with patients who may have disabilities.
Travis and his mother made several trips to Olympia from Wapato to generate support for the legislation over the past two years. In February, Travis testified in front of state House members.
"Please pass the Travis Alert bill, and help me save lives like mine," Travis told lawmakers.
“It’s been an amazing journey,” said Threasa.
She’s glad she brought the idea for the bill to Rep. Gina McCabe, R-Goldendale.
“I think it will change lives,” said McCabe. “It will save lives.”