Did you know that the Department offers a certified car seat installer who can make sure your child rides safely? Proper installation is too important to not get expert help.

As a hospital social worker, Chris Adamson of Wyoming knew the importance of a high quality and properly fitted car seat for her grandson, Leo Detzel, 21 months.  When she found out the Wyoming Fire & EMS Department offered certified installation of , she made an appointment.

“I was acutely aware of the lengthy training process that car seat technicians go through,” says Adamson.  “So I knew that having the right car seat was only part of the equation.  The other part is getting it installed properly.”

Adamson and her husband, Wes, took Leo to the Wyoming Safety Services Building where Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician Bill Fitzpatrick carefully fitted the car seat into the Adamson’s vehicle and then made sure the harnesses were properly adjusted for Leo’s height and weight.  The process only took about 15 minutes, says Adamson, so it was convenient for their schedule.

“It was a much more thorough installation than the average person would ever understand how to do,” she says.  “There’s more to it than just buckling it into your car.”

Wyoming Fire & EMS re-established child car seat installation as a service this year.  Fitzpatrick, a firefighter, has completed more than 24 hours of specialized training in car seat installation through Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.  , also a firefighter, coordinates the program.

Car accidents are the leading cause of childhood injuries and deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control.  The CDC estimates that roughly 46 percent of child car and booster seats are used incorrectly in a way that could jeopardize their effectiveness.

Today’s car seats are more complicated than those of years past, and they are most effective when installed properly, says Wyoming Fire Chief .

Adamson says she found a big difference between the car seat she purchased to use for her grandson and the ones she purchased for her own children years ago.

Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician Bill Fitzpatrick demonstrates proper car seat installation. Rachel Allen (background), program coordinator, watches as her son, Aayden, is fitted into his seat.

“The prices and options are much more numerous now,” she says.  “So it was very reassuring to get help with the installation.  It was time well spent, especially for something that could save a life.  And my grandson got a tour of the fire station, too, so everyone was happy.”

For more information about the Wyoming Fire & EMS Department child car seat installation program, or to make an appointment, contact Rachel Allen at 513-842-1384.