Local News

Raleigh Fire Department Looks to Trim Car Seat Program

Posted November 6, 2007 5:26 p.m. EST
Updated November 7, 2007 3:30 p.m. EST

— The Raleigh Fire Department plans to reduce a program in which firefighters install child car seats, citing a drain on resources and the potential liability to the city.

The department started the car seat program as a pilot for the state Department of Insurance in 2000, and trained personnel were initially supposed to teach parents how to install car seats properly. But the firefighters have been installing more seats themselves, and they average 116 seats installed per month.

Fire Chief John McGrath said the training requirements for firefighters cost the city $7,200 every two years and force the department to keep trained personnel at various fire stations every weekday.

Any mistake in the installation also could make the department and the city liable in the case of an accident, McGrath said.

He plans to limit the program to five fire stations around the city.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker has suggested hiring a private contractor to take over the car seat program.