HGH EMS Rescue to Offer Child Passenger Safety Certification

If you care deeply about children and want to make sure they are safe on every ride, consider becoming a nationally certified Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technician.

HGH EMS Rescue will offer a National Safe Kids Technician Course from Tuesday, September 12, through Friday, September 15, at the ambulance station located next to Humboldt General Hospital; a safety seat checkpoint will finish out the instruction from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, September 16.

According to HGH EMS Rescue Lieutenant Debbie Whittaker, CPS technicians and instructors use their considerable knowledge and expertise at a variety of community-based activities, such as child safety seat checks, where parents and caregivers receive education and hands-on assistance.

The certification also allows CPS technicians and instructors to keep up-to-date on the latest technical information about child passenger safety through seminars and other continuing education opportunities.

Whittaker said students will meet from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for each day’s instruction in preparation to take the national certification exam. The CPS certification course fee is $85; an additional site fee of $35 is payable to HGH on the first day of class.

Course offerings such as September’s CPS course are an important part of Humboldt General Hospital’s Child Passenger Safety program: “KISS” or “Kids in Safety Seats.”

According to Whittaker, Humboldt General Hospital has made a sizeable investment in the agency’s Child Passenger Safety program. Five crew members are now certified through Safe Kids Worldwide to inspect and install child protective seats at fixed locations such as the local ambulance station.

A certified technician works closely with families of newborn babies to assure their child safety seat is properly installed before going home from the hospital.

The agency also hosts the Family Safety Vehicle Program for the Sixth Judicial District Court—mandated child passenger safety restraint education which is ordered after a caregiver has been cited by law enforcement for driving while a child is unrestrained.

Whittaker said a new trailer and supplies funded through a grant from the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety also enable local technicians to conduct quarterly “fitting stations” on the road.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injury for Nevadans between the ages of 5 and 34 years. Motor vehicle occupant injuries are among the top five causes of both death and hospitalization among children under age 16.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that correctly used child restraints are even more effective than seat belts at reducing fatalities. Child restraints reduce fatalities by 71 percent for infants younger than 12 months old; for children between the ages of 1 and 4, child restraints reduce fatalities by 54 percent.

And yet, Whittaker said research shows 73 percent of child restraints are installed incorrectly and would reasonably result in serious injury or death to a child.

With approximately 1,300 children under the age of 5 in Humboldt County, and an average installation of 70 child passenger safety seats per year, “there remains a critical void,” said Whittaker.

“HGH EMS Rescue is committed to assuring that every child is properly restrained while in a motor vehicle,” added Whittaker. “Our goal is very simple: prevent disability and death among the youngest members of our communities.”

To register for September’s National Safe Kids technician course, visit http://bit.ly/2wsKG3L; course number is: NV20170803792. Class is limited to the first 12 people to sign up. For more information, contact Debbie Whittaker at (775) 623-5222, ext. 1363.

Additionally, HGH EMS Rescue’s Child Passenger Safety Program conducts car seat installs and education at the ambulance station located adjacent to Humboldt General Hospital. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call (775) 623-5222, ext. 1363.