A car seat inspection program at select Winnipeg fire stations is on the way out.
Since the 1990s, the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS), Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI), and St. John Ambulance have partnered to deliver the service.
But St. John Ambulance no longer certifies technicians, the fire-paramedic service doesn't have the resources to spare, and, according to WFPS assistant chief Mark Reshaur, the training materials are out of date.
Reshaur says the best source of information regarding each car seat model is from the car seat manufacturer. Similarly, MPI says car seats have become safer and easier to install over time, and they all come with detailed instructions. Going forward, MPI will promote online resources and educate parents through community presentations.
Reshaur says choosing to discontinue the service is not a financial decision, but a logistical one.
"We can't guarantee that the personnel are going to be in the station and available at the designated times because they're on duty and responding to emergencies throughout the day and night," he says.
According to a report prepared by Reshaur submitted to city hall, there has also been an issue with people showing up at fire stations expecting an installation, not an inspection.
Reshaur says, up to mid-October this year, 406 people have come to fire stations for child car seat inspections.