By Erica Benjamin for the SNAP
Saturday, June 29, 2013 —
A local EMS worker was recognized by the state for his efforts to keep children traveling in vehicles safe.
Stanly County EMS Training Officer Adam Palmer was recently presented with the Safe Kids North Carolina Outstanding Member of the Year award at the Safe Kids North Carolina Awards Luncheon in Chapel Hill. The award was in recognition for his involvement with the Safe Kids Stanly County Coalition.
Palmer’s reaction to the news that he had been selected for the award was one of shock.
“I was pleasantly surprised,” Palmer said.
“I was very proud to be able to represent my county and my employer.”
A graduate of North Stanly High School, Palmer has been employed with the Stanly County EMS for five years as a training officer and also serves as the Buckle Up coordinator for the county.
The safety of the county’s youngest passengers has always been one of his top priorities. Under his leadership, the number of certified child passenger safety technicians in Stanly County has increased from two to more than 10.
Qualified technicians, Palmer said, are tasked with making sure child passenger safety seats are installed properly and instruct caregivers on how to install seats themselves.
“They are nationally certified and take a four day class. It’s very stringent training,” Palmer said.
The importance of having children properly restrained in a vehicle can’t be stressed enough.
“Studies show that it greatly increases your chances of survivability in a motor vehicle collision. Those not properly restrained are more at risk for sustaining serious injury,” Palmer said, adding that resources are available for families who can’t afford a safety seat.
“We obtain seats from the state and through grants. We disseminate those out as needed for low income families.”
Palmer is so passionate about having certified technicians check children’s passenger seats for proper installation that he was instrumental in organizing the the first permanent child passenger seat checking station in Stanly County. Located on Bethany Road at EMS Base One, the station is open for children’s caregivers to stop by and have their seats checked for proper installation at no charge. The station is open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of each month.
“We developed it last May. We felt there was a need for people to have somewhere where they could go. Not every fire department is able to do this,” Palmer said.
“We also do periodic checks at daycares and parking lots where we can get high traffic volume.”
The checking station is still relatively new but Palmer hopes to see an increase in the number of people who utilize the service.
“It’s still a little slow. We’re still trying to get the word out but we’re hopeful it’ll become a regular thing for people,” Palmer said.
Safe Kids Stanly County Coordinator Brian Taylor is proud of Palmer’s accomplishment and service to the community.
“Safe Kids Stanly County members are very pleased that Adam was recognized for his outstanding service to protecting our children,” Taylor said.
“Adam has revitalized one of our oldest missions which is ensuring that every child is properly protected by a child passenger safety seat.”
Erica Benjamin is a freelance contributor for The Stanly News & Press.