Mom's are under the impression that every first responder is a licenced carseat installer, but that is just not the case.
Children's carseats can be very difficult to install. There are a lot of safety precautions to remember and if the car seat is not installed correctly then it can lead to serious harm to the baby if you were to get into a car accident. Sometimes it is very difficult to read the manual that the carseat has come with and if this is your first carseat then it might be completley overwhelming. Parents are encouraged to go to first responders, because they know how to install carseats and they know how to help you provide the safest car experience for your youngster.
Lisa Yunk is a mom of three. She bought a new carseat for her youngest child and she had no idea how to install the base of the carseat. She drove to several different first responder locations and each time she was turned away. She learned that not every first responder is actually has a licence to help with installing carseats. She visited six different locations including fire stations, police departments and a health department. None of the locations would help her.
Yunk was told that nobody was certified, that she would have to make an appointment, or that she had to be a resident of that particular city to be assisted. She learned that she couldn't just show up and be helped by the first responders. Yunk left completley disappointed and frustrated that nobody was willing to help her with her install. Yunk said that it was very scary to have to drive around for over 45 minutes where she knew that her daughter's carseat was not installed correctly. She was also driving in really bad weather and so she was just praying that nothing bad would happened.
She finally came across a sheriff at a police station who was willing to help her install the carseat. Lisa Klindt Simpson with Safe Kids Southeast Wisconsin, said that it is actually a very big misconception that you can go to a fire station and they will help you install your carseat. In fact, out of the 30 departments in Southern Wisconsin, only 17 employees are certified to install a carseat. In Wisconsin it costs $250 and requires three full days of training to be a Child Passenger Safety Technician, many employees don't want to go through the process. Before you drive around to different agencies it is important to call before you go to make sure you aren't wasting your time. It is apparently not a requirement for many first responders to know how to install a carseat.