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Firefighters emphasize car seat safety during holiday season

December 13, 2023

The Wilkes-Barre Fire Department is taking an innovative approach to ensuring car seat safety this holiday season.

As part of their community engagement efforts, they have launched a unique event involving car seat checks, holiday festivities, and essential safety education.

Firefighters combine safety checks with festive spirit

In a creative twist to traditional safety measures, the Wilkes-Barre Fire Department, led by Derek Zalenski, Vice President of Public Relations for the local IAFF, has organized a “Car Seat Check with Santa” event.

This initiative, now in its third year, combines essential car seat safety checks with the holiday spirit, making it both informative and enjoyable for participants.

Certified technicians from the Pennsylvania State Police, along with personnel from the Wilkes-Barre Fire and Police Departments, are involved in these checks.

Car seat safety: A priority for local families

This year’s event saw the successful conduct of 16 car seat checks and the distribution of new car seats to families in need.

The emphasis on car seat safety is underscored by recent CDC statistics showing a concerning percentage of young children involved in fatal crashes were not properly restrained.

These events are part of the department’s efforts to address this critical safety issue effectively.

Community outreach and impact

Travis Temarantz, President of Local 104, highlighted the importance of public relations and community value in their operations.

The department’s involvement in projects like ‘Coats for Kids’ and ‘Fill the Boot’ drive reflects their commitment to community service and their ability to witness the tangible impact of these initiatives.

Zalenski’s decision to become certified in car seat safety exemplifies this commitment, offering a specialized service that benefits the local community.

Additional community engagement activities

Complementing their safety initiatives, Local 104 members are also organizing a toy drive for pediatric patients at Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville, PA.

This gesture further demonstrates their dedication to serving and supporting the community beyond their primary firefighting duties.

FSJA Comment

The Wilkes-Barre Fire Department’s approach to car seat safety during the holiday season represents a commendable blend of community service and public safety education.

By incorporating festive elements into their safety programs, they effectively engage the community in important safety practices.

The success of this program, as reflected in the number of car seat checks and the distribution of new car seats, highlights the positive impact such community-focused initiatives can have.

Furthermore, their involvement in other community projects, like the toy drive, underscores the broader role that fire departments can play in enhancing community welfare.

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