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Press Release: New Orleans EMS Personnel Receive Saved by the Belt Award at Child Passenger Safety Conference

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(New Orleans, LA) – University Medical Center (University Medical Center) New Orleans’ Louisiana Passenger Safety Task Force recognized two first responders with Saved by the Belt Awards last week for their use of seat belts, which is believed to have saved their lives during a traffic crash.

Paramedic Jacob Fahrer and Emergency Medical Technician David Feinswog, both with New Orleans Emergency Medical Services, were responding to a 911 call for service at about 2 a.m. on Mardi Gras, February 9, 2016. Their ambulance, which was traveling on Tulane Avenue with sirens turned on, was struck head-on by a sedan that jumped the median at high speed. The collision occurred at Tulane Avenue and S. Prieur Street, just outside of University Medical Center New Orleans. Both Fahrer and Feinswog were transported to University Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. At the time of the collision, Fahrer and Feinswog were both wearing seat belts.

Fahrer and Feinswog received the Saved by the Belt Award on Thursday, June 30, 2016, during the Annual Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Statewide CEU Conference in Baton Rouge. The award recognizes individuals who were involved in traffic crashes and were wearing safety restraint devices.

“Motor vehicle crashes remain one of the most significant injuries witnessed every day at the Trauma Center,” said Bridget Gardner, University Medical Center Injury Prevention Program Director. “Most of the time, preventive measures like seat belt usage, are the only method to reduce the number and significance of the associated injuries or outcome. First responders are even more vulnerable to crashes. This is a perfect example of how any one of us can be the victim of a motor vehicle crash and that we are not invincible. It is also a perfect demonstration of role model behavior for other EMS, first responders, and the community.”

Nearly 200 CPS technicians and instructors were gathered at the CPS conference, which focused on child restraints, technology, and installation. In addition to the conference, University Medical Center New Orleans’ Injury Prevention Program offers regular CPS Technician Certification classes to add to the team of professionals who help provide weekly child safety seat installation classes for parents and caregivers. These classes teach participants how to select the proper child restraint, ensure that their child is placed into the restraint properly and that the restraint is correctly installed in their vehicles.

To learn more about the injury prevention program at University Medical Center New Orleans, visit