Parents were able to drive through the new fire station and have Safe Kids certified child passenger safety specialists determine if their children’s car seats were correctly installed.
Safe Kids is a nationwide network of organizations working to prevent unintentional childhood injury.
“Car crashes are the number one killer of our kids,” said Beth Washington, Tulsa Safe Kids Coordinator.
The event was also used as an educational tool for Durant police officers and firefighters to learn how to identify improperly installed seats and observe the correct way to install them.
“This helps the firefighters and police officers, it gives them the education to recognize misuse,” said Washington.
A classroom training session was held in the morning, prior to the event for law enforcement and firefighters.
“This is the first step,” said Steve Nabors, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Law Enforcement Liaison.
During the free car seat check, parents were able to have questions answered and get their car seat properly installed.
“This is not an enforcement event, said Nabors. We are here to help parents and assist them.”
If parents did not have a car seat or had a seat that was out of date or recalled, Safe Kids provided parents a car seat free of charge.
Durant residents, Aaron and Mellissa Sherrer had their first child nine weeks ago and pulled into the fire station to get their seat checked.
“I wanted to make sure it’s in there safely,” said Mellissa.
About 90-95 percent of the car seats that are checked by Safe Kids are incorrect, said Washington.
“You don’t want to be in a collision and find out it’s not installed right,” said Nabors.
Safe Kids hopes to hold more classes in the future to enable area police officers and fire fighters to become certified car seat technicians, which will allow them to better assist families.
“The ultimate goal is the protection of children, said Nabors. I’m very proud that the city of Durant and the Durant Fire Department hosted the event.”