News: Combat Center educates service members, families
Story by Lance Cpl. Kasey Peacock
MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - The safety fair, in its third year, was held to increase the awareness of military personnel and their families on the hazards they face on a daily basis, as well as to educate them on other safety practices. In this year’s iteration, Safe Kids Worldwide, a child safety organization, also took part in the event to promote child safety to service members and their families.
Various police officers, firefighter and medical personnel within San Bernardino County displayed information and education booths alongside military police and the Combat Center Fire Department.
Also at the safety fair were Combat Center support systems including the New Parent Support Program, Child Development Center, Exceptional Family Member Program, Marine Corps Family Team Building and many more.
During the event, the main attraction consisted of Combat Center and San Bernardino County medical, police and firefighting staff checking car seats for service members and their families.
“We have a great relationship with the staff at the Combat Center and we were more than willing to come out here and promote safety to the military families,” said Michelle Parker, coordinator, Safe Kids Inland Empire, Loma Linda Children's Hospital. “Safe kids in general is all about injury prevention. A huge component of that is the proper use of car seats and seat belts. Everyone out here is a child-passenger safety technician, so we wanted to offer free examinations of their car seats and provide resources and awareness.”
Service members and their families were encouraged to partake in the car seat inspection to help with the ultimate goal of promoting safety, according to Melanie Weaver, police officer, California Highway Patrol.
“Events like this are great because we get to promote safety to service members and their families, as well as keep up with our annual certifications,” Weaver said. “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that approximately 80 percent of all car seats are used incorrectly. A lot of people don’t know, but car seats are like milk, meaning they expire. So when you take into consideration that everyone on this base is working for the safety of this country and this state, it seems right to bring our safety message here.”
In addition to the car seat awareness, Combat Center military policemen also offered military working dog demonstrations for those in attendance.
“We want our service members and their families safe,” said Daniel Iniguez, firefighter, Combat Center Fire Department. “They work too hard every day protecting our country, especially when they are deployed, to come back home and be involved in an accident that could have been prevented.”
Safety fairs are conducted aboard the Combat Center annually. While the organizations who participate may change, the ultimate goal of promoting safety is always met.
If you missed the safety fair and have questions about car seat safety, or about safety in general, contact the Combat Center Fire Department at 830-5239.