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Training for Child Passenger Safety Certification ends today

The Office of Highway Safety (OHS), under the Department of Public Safety is coordinating the Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Certification Training that began on Monday and will end today with a final inspection, or fitting station set up at the Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) compound from 12 noon until 4 p.m.


The training is being conducted by a pair of professionals from the Aloha State - Charles Hirata is 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 Center who is also a CPS technician and coordinator for Kapiolani.


The training is being coordinated by the OHS Program Manager for Occupant Protection, David Bird, and began on Monday with the renewal of certifications for the four local CPS technicians: David Bird, Mike Tipoti, Beaver Lagima, and Fiailoa Moafanua.


A total of eight trainees, representing the Child Care Services of the Department of Human and Social Services, the Office of Highway Safety, the Department of Health and the Fire Department, began training on Tuesday. Upon the conclusion of the final inspection today, these trainees will become certified CPS technicians.


The trainees are Emelio Fruean (OHS), Mose Maino (FD), Maelega Fetui (DOH), and five from the DHSS Child Care Services - Corabelle Langford, Precious Mageo, Angielynn Taumua, Tiana Canepa, and Allamanda Amituana'i. Training is required per a mandate from certification authority, Safe Kids Worldwide.


Bird explained that the trainees were selected from the departments and agencies that are subgrantees of the program. (OHS is fully funded by the federal government, under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).


 For example, employees of the DHSS Child Care Services have to be trained because they deal with daycare centers. The Fire Department had to be included because they are first responders in times of accidents. The Office of Highway Safety is included because they deal with pedestrian and occupant safety, and the Department of Health was called in because newborn babies that are delivered at the LBJ Tropical Medical Center must have car seats installed in the vehicles transporting them before they can be discharged.


Once the newbies are certified, fitting stations can be opened across the island where locals can get educated on how to properly and effectively install car seats.


Bird said the training will center around teaching the participants how to properly install car seats, how to identify the proper use of car seats, and how to recognize the misuse of car seats and seat belts. Also, Bird said the trainees will be schooled on the best and safest place to install a car seat, and which seat belts are to be used with car seats.


"Car seats are used for the protection of our young ones and they need to be properly installed in order to produce positive and life saving results," Bird explained. Today's final inspection is open to the public and free of charge.


Bird says that luckily, there have been no reported fatalities of children this year in relation to accidents involving the improper use of car seats but it is always best "to be safe than sorry." He did add that recently, there was an accident involving a six-month old baby that was injured while being carried as a lap child in the passenger seat of the vehicle involved in the wreck.


Bird said that in the near future, car seats will be provided for the general public and an announcement will be made as to when this service will be available. Bird expressed his gratitude to Police Commissioner William Haleck, Deputy Commissioner Leseiau Laumoli and OHS Director Fred Scanlan for spearheading the training program that will ensure the safety of the territory's youngsters.


He also advises the public to be mindful of the ongoing enforcement - "Click it or Ticket" and urges motorists to fasten their seat belts and don't forget to buckle the kids up in the car seats.


More information on the CPS program can be obtained by calling 633-1780.