CHILD CAR SEAT SAFETY CHECK
Chief Robert Walker of the Wellington Fire District said the child car seat safety inspection was put on for the communities within their jurisdiction. (Village of Wellington, Wellington Township, Brighton, Pittsfield, Penfield and Huntington.) “We have been receiving calls from the community asking if a Firefighter can check their child’s car seat to see if it was safe or installed properly. So with that the Wellington Fire District sent one of our guys, Derick Oswald, to a 32 hour class in Medina so that he could become a certified technician. Derick then went out with some of the other guys from the Department and raised funds from the community to buy supplies for the event. In total we raised around $3,000.00 and it is all going back into the community.”
Walker said that the Firefighter’s Association stepped up and donated the first $1,000.00 to the cause, then every insurance agency in town donated as well as the American Legion, the Wellington VFW and the Wellington Eagles club.
Derick Oswald said that the class was more intense then what he had anticipated. “The class was held at the Easter Seals in Medina and was a 32 hour course spread out over a couple weeks. The first day we just learned all about cars and seat belts. Every car has a different seat belt system – there’s nothing straight across the board, each car has something different. On the second day we learned about infant only car seats and convertible car seats. The third day was booster seats and specialty seats like airline seats.” On the fourth day Oswald and his fellow classmates went to EHOVE to do hands on training with students at the school.
Oswald said that each car that pulled into the parking lot could expect about a 20 to 30 minute inspection process. “The first thing we do is identify the car seat, we try to identify any recalls – we have an updated recall list that we printed out with us to cross check. The next step is to identify the manufacturer of the car – how do they want the child seat installed in the car. We look at the manual of the car seat and make sure that we are installing it properly according to the manufacturer of the car seat.”
The process puts the technician and the parents together so the idea is to not only make sure the seat is installed safely but to also educate the people who drive in. “If I just check the seat then install it snuggly and let them go on their way – then two months down the road they need to move the seat out and reinstall it they are lost. We explain everything we are doing along the way and then uninstall it and let them reinstall it with us watching.”
Oswald said that people need to review their car manual as well as their car seat manual and if you are passing junior and the car seat over to the Grandparents, make sure you look at their car manual as it will be different then yours.
Chief Walker said that he is proud of how his Fire Department has been proactive on this issue and said he and his Department will continue to work with the community and other agencies to make this an yearly event.
Those who missed the inspection on Saturday are welcome to contact the Wellington Fire Department to set up an inspection for your car by emailing email@example.com or by calling 440-647-2245.
To see more photos from the inspection: CLICK HERE
Editors Note: Special thanks to James from Harrison Ford in Wellington for the assistance given to the TMC NEWS Mobile Unit. Your help was greatly appreciated.