WINTERSVILLE - The Jefferson County Health Department is benefiting from a two-year, $6,000 community block grant from State Farm Insurance for its child safety seat program.
Chuck Vandine of Vandine Insurance applied for the grant, which will fund their annual child safety seat inspection program.
"It's State Farm's way of giving back to the community," Vandine said. "Last year we did about 50, but it's not so much how many seats you give out - it's the number of seats that come in that don't need replaced but are mis-installed. About 80 percent of the people who come in have perfectly good seats, but they're not installed properly."
He recalled one woman whose child safety seat was installed by the staff at a Pittsburgh hospital - incorrectly. "And another of my insureds was involved in an accident on U.S. Route 22 - just by not putting the belts in properly and tucking things in properly, a 3-year-old ended up with 20-some stitches in their head and had to be taken to Pittsburgh by medical helicopter.
"One year we gave out 120 car seats," he said. "As a matter of fact, we ran out of what we had in stock so I actually went to Kmart and spent a thousand dollars out of my own pocket on car seats. Eventually I was reimbursed, but I had to put up the thousand dollars to get out of the store with them."