Drew Weaver graduated from Old Rochester Regional High School last year. Not only is he a freshman at Mass Maritime Academy, but he is already a probationary firefighter for the Mattapoisett Fire Department.

Last year, in addition to being a member of the MMR Hose CO. Explorer Post – an organization designed to expose Tri-Town 14-to-18-year-olds to the fire department and EMS – Weaver was also involved in the National Honor Society. For his senior project, he came up with a kit that could accompany first responders to emergency scenes. The kits would help first responders interact with people with autism.

Weaver consulted with some special educations specialists, along with police officers and firefighters to gain advice about what might be able to help in certain situations. He looked for donations to put into the kits. He was able to assemble a number of kits for SouthCoast departments.

The thing with autism is that it's not one size fits all.  So, first responders try different things.  There's a bunch of different items in the kit.  We have headphones for someone who might be nervous hearing the sirens during an emergency, white boards for people who are non-verbal, different fidget to stay occupied. – Drew Weaver


So far, the kits have been distributed to Dartmouth Police, Mattapoisett, Marion Fire Department, and Onset Fire Department. He plans on putting together more kits with the remaining donations.

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Weaver has plans to attend the fire academy in July. After he completes the fire academy, he will become a full on-call firefighter for Mattapoisett.

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

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