Child passenger seat educators and View Royal firefighters Lieut. Rob Marshall and Lieut. Heath Bevan inspect one-year-old Soleil Steffes’s car seat for proper installation.

Fire department helps junior buckle up

A child may be buckled into a car seat, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they are safe.

View Royal Fire Rescue has been installing child seats and teaching parents correct installation methods since November.

For years the department had new parents pop in after giving birth at nearby Victoria General Hospital and asking for assistance to install the car seat, but the firefighters had to turn them away.

“We didn’t want to just jump into it. We wanted to do it right or not at all,” said View Royal training officer Lieut. Heath Bevan.

There are seven trained personnel at the fire hall who are certified child passenger seat educators. At all times, unless they are out on an emergency call, someone is able to assist with car seats.

“We are just so close to the hospital and doing this is a value-added service to the community,” Bevan said. “You have to give back to the community, and this is definitely a way to that.”

After taking a two-day course, Bevan and Lieut. Rob Marshall admitted that they had incorrectly installed their own children’s car seats.

“It was just a lack of knowledge,” Marshall said. “There are so many types of car seats and many makes and models of cars. We have the tools and training to put them in safely.”

Common errors include incorrectly securing the seatbelt to the child seat, the angle of the child seat and buckling in the child, which changes for forward- and rear-facing setups.

Both firefighters recalled their own experiences of attending car crashes where car seats had saved the lives of little ones.

“Last year a vehicle had completely flipped over and when we arrived the baby was just hanging upside down just staring at us,” Marshall said smiling.

The department is offering the service to anyone regardless of what community they live in. They will install new car seats or check already installed ones to make sure they’ve been installed correctly. The firefighters are also able to check and see if a car seat has been recalled.

“The whole idea is to instruct the parent about how to install them so if they ever have to switch vehicles, they’ll know how to do it,” Bevan said. “The last thing any of us would want is to see a child injured.”

For more information on the service please call VRFR at 250-479-7322.

reporter@goldstreamgazette.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Battling bullying covers a lot of ground, says Safe Schools manager for Sooke School District

Jamie Adair’s background is tailor-made for the work he does with the… Continue reading

‘Not the monster everyone thinks’: Sister of human-trafficking suspect speaks out

Trish Kelly’s brother was one of four Vancouver Island residents arrested last month in Saskatchewan

UPDATED: Indigenous youth occupy B.C. Legislature steps amidst court injunction

Police negotiating with people gathered in support of some of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Upgrades for Colwood’s Brook Creek Dam pouring in

Improvements to mitigate risks for residents

Oak Bay ups deer management budget to $96,100 for 2020

Provincial grant approved for deer contraception program

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sex crimes in landmark #MeToo trial

The cases against the Hollywood mogul started the #MeToo movement

Most Read