Spring fire department keeps families safe with community events

Interactions with firefighters often occur under extreme circumstances. The Spring Fire Department provides opportunities to meet with first responders outside of crisis situations while teaching people how to prevent future emergencies.

“We’ve focused on this for the past three years now making sure we’re involved with the community in events that don’t happen on the worst day of their lives,” said Spring Fire Chief Scott Seifert.

The service will be hosting its annual Spring Into Safety event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 9 at Old Town Spring during Fire Prevention Month.

Children will have the opportunity to meet first responders from various local agencies including Spring Fire Department, Harris County Fire Marshal, Texas Department of Public Safety, County Sheriff’s Office Harris, Harris County Police Officers Pct. 4, Spring ISD Police Department, Texas Search and Rescue, Harris County Public Health, Harris County ESD 11 Mobile Healthcare, Cypress Creek EMS, Safe Kids / Texas Children’s Center for Childhood Injury Prevention, Harris County 9-1-1, Harris County on Commissioner Jack Cagle’s office and the Harris County Emergency Management Office.

The first 500 children will receive a passport book that they can have stamped at different booths to win a safety backpack filled with items such as coloring books, pencils, pens and activities that teach them about safety .

The event serves as a way to distribute educational material that can inform not only children but also adults.

“Sure, they love to bring their kids to see fire trucks and ambulances and things like that,” Seifert said. “But the bottom line is that they get these materials inside their house and hopefully if they look at one of the coloring books and it makes them decide to change the batteries in their detectors. smoke or something, then we… prevent a bad accident from happening. Kids are a great group to target, as it usually goes all the way up to parents. “

Spring Into Safety had to be canceled last year due to the pandemic, along with other public awareness events. The ministry was able to resume some of its outdoor events and even introduced a new program earlier this year offering child car seat inspections.

The Spring Fire Department concluded another successful car seat inspection event last week – a monthly event held in partnership with Safe Kids of Greater Houston. This month’s event was part of Child Passenger Safety Week.

The Texas Children’s Center for Childhood Injury Prevention is the lead agency for Safe Kids of Greater Houston, a coalition of several partners, including the Spring Fire Department and many others in the five counties served by the organization.

“One of our goals is the safety of child passengers and we walk around the community and educate parents on the correct fit, the correct harness, when to turn the child forward, things like that, “said Lisa Delgado, health education specialist. with the Texas Children’s Hospital.

About 50 child car seats were checked during the event at Spring Fire Station 75 on Wednesday, September 22. Car seat checks were carried out outside in the bays of the station.

“Here in the spring, we come here once a month. Our team is dating other agencies who will join us; they are all certified technicians, they have all taken a certification course and we are showing families how to set up their car seats and solve any problems they may be having, ”said Delgado.

According to Delgado, about four out of five seats they see are not installed correctly. Some of the more common problems, she said, include loose harnesses and poorly positioned chest clips.

“It’s usually too low – it’s in the belly area, it has to be on the child’s breastbone,” Delgado said.

Additionally, she stated that if the car seat moves more than an inch from side to side or front to back, the seat is not installed correctly.

Another frequently encountered problem is expired car seats.

“Manufacturers will put an expiration date on their seats and that’s mainly because the technology is changing,” she said. “So not just wear and tear. Sometimes parents take car seats apart to clean or wash them, and then they forget to put something back the right way, or they forget to put a certain part.

Confirming that child car seats are safe and installed correctly is a critical part of preventing injury to young passengers, Delgado explained. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says road traffic crashes are one of the leading causes of death in children, accounting for more than 91,000 injuries and 608 deaths among children 12 and under in 2019.

Child car seat inspection events are a free service, but appointments are required. Bilingual technicians are available to help Spanish speaking families. Upcoming Spring Fire Department car seat checks, along with appointment scheduling instructions, are available on the service’s online calendar at www.springfd.org/event.

Safe Kids of Greater Houston is partnering with several agencies in five counties to organize car seat inspections. A calendar of upcoming Safe Kids of Greater Houston events is available at www.safekidsgreaterhouston.org.

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