This week, The Texas Department of Transportation El Paso District partnered with the El Paso Fire Department to certify the first ever group of El Paso Fire Department firefighters as National Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Technicians in the City of El Paso. The group of 17 participated in a four-day long course led by the TxDOT Traffic Safety Specialists. It combined classroom instruction, hands-on work with car seats/vehicles, and a community safety seat checkup event where students demonstrated the skills learned during class.
“It is essential to get firefighters to get certified,” said TxDOT Traffic Safety Specialist Monica O’Kane. “The rigorous course provides skills needed to check and teach caregivers proper child passenger safety. It will also help firefighters during transport and assist in evaluating injuries on a child after a crash. The community will also have an additional resource, which is greatly needed throughout the year,” she added.
TxDOT helps manage more than 100 Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technicians that assist with car seat safety check events throughout the year. They include TxDOT employees, healthcare professionals and members of various law enforcement entities.
“The mission of the Fire Department is to provide emergency response, prevention, preparedness and education to residents, businesses and visitors of our city. “said the Chief of Fire Medical Research, Gustavo Tavarez “Certified Passenger Seat Technicians are another component in our Community Risk Reduction Program that will help prevent child fatalities and reduce severe injuries that may result from motor vehicle crashes.”
While most parents believe their children are properly buckled up, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that two out of three safety seats are not used correctly.