By Kendall McGee | March 15, 2021 at 6:50 PM EDT – Updated March 15 at 7:25 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Sandra Aldridge says her 6-month-old grandson, Harris, is alive today thanks to his car seat and the Wilmington Fire Department.
Aldridge stopped at a fire station because the car seat felt loose and the firefighters quickly fixed the problem.
At the time, she had no idea how important that decision would become. Less than 24 hours later, her car was hit on the very side Harris was sitting.
“I think it’s a miracle. I think it’s an absolute miracle. Had I not come in here and those guys taking time out of their busy schedule, I shudder at the outcome,” Aldridge said. “This is answered prayer; the Lord was watching over Harris and watching over me.”
The crash on College and Wilshire totaled Aldridge’s car, but she and the baby walked away from it unharmed.
“When all the EMTs showed up and firemen, all the emergency personnel, the one thing they kept saying to me was the car seat did not move at all,” added Aldridge. “Had those men not taken the time that day, we may not be standing here with a healthy Harris like we are now.”
It’s incidents like this that make the area-wide push to train all firemen on car seats so rewarding.
“This is the reason we do what we do,” said WFD Deputy Chief Steve Mason. “This station was not a car seat checking station a few years ago, so we put forth the effort to train all of our firefighters to be able to inspect car seats and make sure they’re properly installed.”
Most people associate firefighters with hoses and smoke, but they are ultimately here to save lives and Harris’ grandmother credits the fire department’s car seat program for doing just that.
”This is taking care of people — this is our future right here,” said Aldridge. “Harris is with us today and I know it’s a blessing. I know it is, and I’ll never take that for granted.”
Anyone interested in getting a car seat checked or installed can call their local fire station to set up an appointment.
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