Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death and injury for children in America and child safety seats can dramatically reduce the risk. Yet, up to 75 percent of all car seats are installed incorrectly, putting children at risk, according to Valpo Fire Chief Chad Dutz. To safeguard children, 1st Source Bank has donated $10,000 to support the Valparaiso Fire Department’s Car Seat Safety Program, where drivers can have their car seats inspected for safety and proper installation, and those in need may receive a free child safety seat.
“When we learned about the Car Seat Safety Program and how it works to keep kids safe, we were eager to get involved,” said 1st Source Regional President Matt Vessely. “1st Source Bank is committed to our community and this is a way we can help young families at a busy time in their lives. We would also like to thank the Valparaiso Fire Department for providing this valuable service.”
Each of the Valparaiso Fire Department’s nine accredited car seat technicians has completed a 32-hour training course, along with ongoing education. Since the VFD began offering the Car Seat Program, they’ve installed nearly 600 car seats and provided more than 200 free car seats. “There are 92 Car Seat Safety stations in Indiana and we’re the third busiest statewide,” said Chief Dutz.
“The Car Seat Safety Program is so valuable in preventing injuries to children and giving parents the confidence of knowing they’re keeping children safe. It’s also a wonderful touch point between our community and our firefighters,” said Mayor Jon Costas. To learn how to receive your free safety seat inspection or qualify for a free car seat, contact the Valparaiso Fire Department at 219-462-8325 or visit Valpo.us and search “safety seat.”