Car seat inspections at your fire station?

Car seat inspections at your fire station?

Firefighters in South Carolina have been great leaders in the quest to keep children safe in motor vehicles. Currently, there are 40 fire stations that are car seat inspection stations where certified child passenger safety technicians provide assistance while educating caregivers on proper child restraint use. Summerville Fire Station is a key leader in our state due to their commitment to child passenger safety. Here it is a job requirement for each staff member to be become a certified technician so there is no shortage of trained personnel and they can assist every family in need.

This community service is imperative for children in South Carolina with nearly 90% of car seats not being used correctly according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Unfortunately, South Carolina has a severe shortage of trained volunteer child passenger safety technicians and inspection stations to address the high misuse across our state. The ratio of children (8 and younger) to technicians is 528:1. Nineteen counties in South Carolina do not have a car seat inspection station for parents and caregivers to receive assistance including: Abbeville, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun, Chester, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Dillon, Edgefield, Fairfield, Hampton, Jasper, Lancaster, Laurens, McCormick, Saluda, Union and Williamsburg.

The South Carolina child passenger safety team asks you to consider establishing a car seat inspection station in your community. Technicians typically assist and educate the public on proper car seat use at a car seat inspection station during select times. This can either be a set time each week or month (i.e., last Friday of each month from 2- 5 p.m.) or by appointment. Stations have the flexibility of choosing how often and what hours to be available for car seat inspections.

There are many benefits of establishing an inspection station in your community including fostering positive community relationships, empowering community members and becoming part of a state-wide collaborative network of technicians. However, the personal benefits of providing this service are immeasurable. Child passenger safety technician C. Jenewein states, “It was a recent forced job requirement that turned into one of the best things that I’ve ever done! It is now my passion and I love every minute of this responsibility I am taking and providing to the community!!! Possibilities are endless!!!!” We hope that you consider this opportunity and the doors it will open with your community.

For more information about child passenger safety training and to establish an inspection station please contact Neal Martin at [email protected] or Anne Stone at [email protected].


This was a guest post from The Children’s Trust of South Carolina.  Learn more about them at scChildren.org.

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