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Mother Thanks SF Fire House For Life Saving Car Seats

February 12, 2014, 5:05 PM by Sammi Bjelland

Mother Thanks SF Fire House For Life Saving Car Seats

Thanks to some properly working car seats, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue is celebrating a story of survival.

A few months ago, car seat experts from Fire Station 3 installed two seats for a local mom.

Rebecca Barefoot was heading to work on I-90 January 3, with her two young boys in the backseat of the truck. As she switched lanes, she hit a patch of ice.

"We instantly jack-knifed on the truck and hit the median and began rolling. And as soon as the truck started rolling, the first thing I could think was, and the only thing I could think was I just want to hear my babies crying. I just want to hear my babies crying because I knew if I could hear them, they were OK," Barefoot said. 

After rolling 3 or 4 times, the truck came to a stop and Rebecca heard a voice from the back seat.

"My two-year-old son actually asked me, in a very solid voice, momma get stuck? And I knew right then that they were fine," Barefoot said. 

About two months before the crash, Barefoot had car seats installed by the trained professionals at Sioux Falls Fire House 3.

She says those men are the reason 2-year-old Cale and 1-year-old Cole made it out of that accident with barely a scratch.

"I firmly believe that being in the right seat protected them both and saved their lives. And for that my family will always be grateful," Barefoot said. 

That's why Rebecca sent a letter of thanks to the station, and is now encouraging all parents to get their car seats checked.

"It's amazing the majority of the car seats that come in incorrectly installed. So that's part of our job, is to notice that they're done incorrectly and educate the public and the parents and get them installed correctly," Captain Grant VanRiesen said, who helped install the seats. 

"We get teased a little bit for being the car seat techs. Instead of the heroes or the fire guys you know. But I guess it's good to get that letter. We appreciate it," Master FAO, Wade McKenney said, who also helped install the seats. 

While they may joke about what they do every Saturday morning, this mother of two is counting her blessings today thanks to these two men.

"It's easy to get complacent when you do something over and over. But the fact they don't, they really make every installation and every check, it's important to them. And that shows. Right here, it shows," Barefoot said.

Fire House 3 on Minnesota Avenue is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. every Saturday, to install free or already purchased car seats for parents in the area.

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