The National Child Passenger Safety Board applauds every person working in the field of child passenger safety, no matter their job title. The efforts made in this field should be considered one of the most successful public health and injury prevention campaigns of our time. The success lies in lives saved, serious injuries prevented, and the number of medical professionals, law enforcement personnel, first responders, caregivers and others educated to properly restrain our most vulnerable passengers.
None of this could be accomplished without “boots on the ground,” an army of dedicated technicians and instructors who work passionately to ensure the safety of our nation’s children. Since 1998, an army of child passenger safety technicians and instructors have been assembled, who often give much of their personal time to this effort. Currently over 40,000 nationally certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPST) educate caregivers on the proper installation and use of car seats, booster seats and seat belts in vehicles. This includes more than 1,700 certified instructors who help train and certify these technicians.
There is a true sense of community enjoyed by those who work in this field. Our thanks to everyone who gives of their time and talents to help keep children safe in and around vehicles!
The National Child Passenger Safety Board is pleased to announce the 2017 Instructor of the Year is Allan Buchanan of Henderson, N.C. Buchanan serves as an Injury Prevention Specialist for the North Carolina Department of Insurance and State Fire Marshal’s Office. He is considered one of North Carolina’s pioneers of child passenger safety. Buchanan began his work in occupant protection for children as a firefighter/EMT for the Henderson Fire Department. After becoming a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician in October 2000, he was certified as an instructor in 2001. He launched the county’s "Buckle Up" program and Safe Kids Coalition. Both remain active today. After transitioning to the state’s Department of Insurance/Fire Marshal’s Office in 2004 as one of three regional Injury Prevention Specialists, Buchanan’s expanded role allowed him to train new technicians across the state and establish new Safe Kids coalitions. "Allan makes it a priority that he is available and accessible," said colleague Suzanne Cash LeDoyen. "He has the ability to adapt his teaching style to a variety of students with different learning styles; he goes above and beyond in every class."
Additional details about Allan and his dedication to child passenger safety can be found in the Instructor of the Year press release
The National Child Passenger Safety Board is pleased to announce the 2017 Technician of the Year is Brandi Ballinger from Longview, WA. Ballinger is an employee of Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue located in Kelso, WA, as the department’s Public Education Coordinator. Her work includes community education on multiple safety topics including fire, water, poison prevention and home safety in addition to occupant protection for children. Her exemplary commitment and dedication to child passenger safety resulted in her nomination for national recognition. “I truly believe in the mission of having every child leave (the car seat inspection station) safer than how they arrived. I enjoy being a small part of making a difference in the lives of children and their families,” she said. Ballinger’s experience in injury prevention began when she accepted a work study position at the Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue station while attending college. She was hired full-time by the department in April 2000 and completed an introductory child passenger safety course for community educators. In 2005, she became a nationally certified child passenger safety technician.
Additional details about Brandi and her dedication to child passenger safety can be found in the Technician of the Year press release