Free child safety checks
PARAMEDIC Rod Klein is a man on a mission - not unlike that of water safety champion Laurie Lawrence.
Children's safety while travelling in vehicles is paramount to Mr Klein, who discovered, alarmingly, that two in three child restraints are not fitted properly.
He has responded by providing parents in the Gympie region with free car seat checks and fittings after discovering there was a two- to three-month wait for the Queensland Ambulance Service to provide the service.
An expectant mother who contacted Mr Klein said she had been told the next available child restraint fitting with QAS was March 8.
Due to give birth in a fortnight, the woman turned to Mr Klein for help, as did the Gympie branch of the Australian Breastfeeding Association.
Group leader Rachel Coull invited him to the association's next meeting on Wednesday to check and fit child restraints and give a safety talk as well as a question and answer session.
About 12 car seats will be checked on the day and nine spots are still available.
Non-members are welcome to take advantage of this free service from 8.30-11.30am. For more information, phone Mrs Coull on 0403 304 114.
"It comes down to the right straps in the right places. They can't be twisted and need to be correctly fastened," Mr Klein said.
"Of the 20 child restraints I have checked in the past 12 months, only one in three was fitted correctly."
If time isn't on your side, Mr Klein recommends getting your child restraint fitted by New Age Mechanics on Bonnick Rd.
He said people were being incorrectly told that the closest service other than QAS was Caloundra.
"It's a lot cheaper here in Gympie than in Caloundra. People don't have to travel all that way."
RACQ and the Gympie Hospital recommend Mr Klein to their clients, but he refuses to take any payment, instead offering it to the community on a volunteer basis.
He does it in his own time, using his own tools and car.
"As long as the people purchase their own car seat and live in the area, I'm happy to do it," he said.