MILWAUKEE — Safe Kids Southeast Wisconsin, a non-profit providing car seat safety services, says it's a misconception that all police and fire departments are trained to be certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians.
Lisa Klindt Simpson of Safe Kids says police and fire departments make up about 50 percent of the organizations, locally and nationwide, that offer car seat installation help. Simpson says it's a shared responsibility for parents and dedicated organizations in the community.
In an interview with Safe Kids, here is what the organization had to say:
- How much does it cost for first responders to be certified through Safe Kids to be a car seat installer? And what does the recertification cost?
In Wisconsin, the cost to become a Certified Child Passenger Safety Tech is $250. This price has been reduced in recent years from $315. This fee covers the $95 national certification fee, instructors’ fees, and meals/refreshments during the course. There is a $100 scholarship available to help defray some of this expense.
- How long (hours-wise) is the initial training?
The certification course is approximately 28 hours. Depending on where the course is hosted, it is either held in three longer days or four shorter days.
- How long is the follow-up training?
Follow-up training consists of the recertification requirements:
* Conduct 5 car seat installations (rear facing only, rear facing convertible, forward facing, booster seat and LATCH) and be approved for the installs by an instructor
* Earn 6 CEU (continuing education units) — many offered online
* Participate in at least 1 community education — (checkups, community workshop, educational session)
- How long does the certification last?
Recertification is every two years and costs $55
- Can anyone pay to be certified to be a car seat installer through Safe Kids?
Yes! Definitely! There are many community advocates that are not affiliated with an organization that are Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians.
In addition, there are many dedicated organizations that have staff certified in Child Passenger Safety and as staff transition into new roles or move on to new opportunities they will send new staff to be trained.