It's a first! Three locals go for CPS training
If everything goes as planned, the territory will soon have — for the first time ever — a trio of certified instructors in the area of Child Passenger Safety, which deals with the proper installation and appropriate use of car seats.
A special training program was held in Honolulu, Hawai’i earlier this month where Emelio Fruean, Pedestrian Safety Program Manager for the Office of Highway Safety, and Corabelle Langford and Precious Mageo from the Child Care Services Division of the Department of Human and Social Services were in attendance.
The three represented American Samoa in a course that included participants from the Aloha State.
The training included classroom lectures and field work at the Kapiolani Medical Center where the group assisted and observed the instructors during fitting stations, which aimed to educate expectant mothers and parents on the proper way to install a car seat, the safest place in the car to put a car seat, and the most effective way to use a car seat.
Fruean, Mageo, and Langford are three of the eight locals who became certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPST) earlier this year in May. They have to be technicians for no less than six months before they are eligible to become instructor candidates. The course in Hawai’i is part of a year-long process to become certified instructors for the CPS program. The next step will include the actual teaching of a class.
Currently, there is no certified CPS instructor in the territory, although there are a total of 28 CPS technicians, 13 of whom hold valid certifications, while the remainder need to be re-certified. Once the trio is certified, there will be no need to bring instructors from off island anymore to conduct training courses.
In addition to training locals, the group will also be able to travel to different jurisdictions like Guam, Hawai’i, Saipan, Arizona, and California — under Region IX — to train people there.
OHS Program Director Fred Scanlan told the Samoa News in an initial interview that this is the first time any locals were selected to undergo training to be CPST instructors. The group was recommended to attend the course by off-island instructor Charles Hirata, a retired police captain from the Maui Police Department, who is also the CPS program coordinator for the Maui PD, and Lisa Dau, a registered nurse from Kapiolani Medical Cente,r who is also a CPS technician and coordinator for Kapiolani.
Hirata and Dau were in the territory earlier this year to conduct the CPST certification training course. The training is required per a mandate from the certification authority, Safe Kids Worldwide.
Scanlan said with the completion of the training course in Hawai’i, the trio has completed 25% of the overall requirements to become certified CPS instructors.
“This is a great opportunity for these people to be armed with the skills and certification to profit off of, especially when they retire or resign from their government jobs," he said, adding that there will be opportunities to train others besides the first group. "Our target is to have three certified CPS instructors for American Samoa, as this is a good number, based on our population."
More information on the CPS program can be obtained by calling OHS Director Fred Scanlan or David Bird, Manager for the local Child Safety Program at 633-1780.
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