KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. — A Kalamazoo County EMT and paramedic are taking their safety messages to another level when it comes to "seat belt safety" after seeing too many crashes where children have been thrown from vehicles.
They've already had dozens this year, and it's only February.
"It is time to buckle up. It is time to put your kids in car seats. It is time to keep everyone safe," said Andie Grube, an EMT with Pride Care Ambulance.
After seeing one too many accidents where children have been ejected from the vehicle, an EMT and paramedic with Pride Care Ambulance want to share the importance of seat belt safety. They said it's already becoming a prevalent issue this year.
"In 2021 alone in Kalamazoo County, we ran over 30 accidents as a combined Pride Care, life--all of those were ejected people. Several of the children were critically injured," said Grube.
That statistic is why Grube created the hashtag "BuckleDownOnTheBuckleUp," making videos showing herself safely buckling up in the car.
She is getting police, fire and EMS to share videos too in hopes it will save at least one life.
"We’re using this hashtag on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook. We are encouraging everyone to make videos now. We started with first responders just to grab attention and say, ‘Hey look, we think this is important because your firefighters, your police, your EMS want you to stay safe,'" said Grube.
"For me, it is not just about the kids. I mean, it is about the kids. It is about everybody, because I don’t like having to go on the calls knowing that had they done something differently, it could’ve been prevented," said Jessica Knapp, a paramedic with Pride Care Ambulance.
In addition, Grube and her partner Jessica Knapp are raising money to donate books to Bronson Children's Hospital, already raising around $12,000.
With their company, Pride Care Ambulance, they donated $4,500, and the wholesale book company they're working with, "Usborne," matched 50% of the money raised.
"I know we bring a lot of kids to Bronson whether it is from accidents or just other medical illnesses, and so I thought that would be great if they could get a brand new book while they were there. It’s something to just take their mind off of what is happening," said Knapp.
You can click here to donate toward their book fundraiser through PayPal.
The two women will also be launching a fundraiser to help raise money to purchase car seats for families in need. You can contact Pride Care Ambulance at (269) 343-2224 for more information.