By MATT HOPF
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
Tony Slater, deputy director of the Adams County Ambulance Service, was a new employee in 2002 when the service received 10 new child safety seats.
Slater, a certified car seat technician, saw the seats being used at the time and knew something had to be done. He wrote Jan Hummel, coordinator for the Safe Kids Adams County, asking for help, and a donation of child safety seats followed.
Hummel and Safe Kids Adams County presented the ambulance service Tuesday with 10 new child safety seats to replace those donated in 2002. The donation was made during a news conference at the Adams County Health Department in Quincy.
The car seats are used when emergency medical personnel need to take a child -- or the child's parent -- to the hospital, Slater said.
"We use these to comply with all local, state and national rules that follow proper restraint of children in a moving vehicle," he said.
Hummel said child safety seats should be replaced every six years.
"Just like everything else, they get old and they expire," she said. "So we are definitely practicing what we preach, which is when they are too old, you get rid of them."
Slater said the department has not replaced seats within the last few years, because new ambulances were bought that had car seats built into the captain's chair of the ambulance.
"When we had our inspection in March, we found out the state was no longer going to consider those to meet the requirements," he said.
Hummel said the $525 cost of the donation was covered by a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation.
"This will ensure that the citizens who need the system will be riding as safe as possible," she said.
A child safety seat checkup will be from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Central Fire Station at Ninth and Vermont. Participants are asked to bring the car seat and the child who will be using it. The free event is sponsored by Safe Kids Adams County and the Quincy Fire Department.