First responders in Flower Mound rescued infant locked in car during triple digits record heat
Authorities in Flower Mound were able to rescue an infant that was in a vehicle that became locked as the mother was putting the child in a car seat.
The on-scene commander was clear. He gave firefighters 60 seconds to unlock the car, with a child locked inside, before taking desperate measures.
They used a Slim Jim-type tool and tried to manipulate the doors and windows, to no avail.
"He’s standing there with a stopwatch, very much in control of the situation, along with the police department. The guys are trying to gain entry was non-damaging means, but at some point, when those 60 seconds were up, human life takes precedence," Flower Mound Deputy Fire Chief Dean Feldpausch.
With the outside temperature soaring beyond 100 degrees, the 10-month-old infant had been locked inside the sedan, windows rolled up without air conditioning, for about four minutes.
The car’s engine shut off shortly after the child’s mother realized she was locked out.
"She put the child in the car seat. She had her keys with her, went and started the vehicle, and then she moved to the backseat, set the keys on the seat to secure the baby in the car seat. When she closed the door, the vehicle locked, presumably because the keys were far enough away from the ignition, so it locked the car," Feldpausch explained.
It happened in the Flower Mound Medical Office parking lot.
Fire officials said the infant was belted in, and the flurry of activity surrounding the car was clearly confusing him.
"Not too happy, not too happy at all. You know what, when they are crying and screaming, that’s a sound we like to hear," Feldpausch said. "It’s not necessarily a joy, but we like to hear it because it’s telling us this child is OK for now."
Now out of time, the first responders broke a backseat window opposite from where the child was positioned.
The rescue became successful before the situation worsened.
"She made a simple mistake. Her fault, no fault. We’re not there to judge," Feldpausch said. "Hopefully it’s a lesson for all of us. Our job is to come and help. Just grateful it turned out the way it did."
Fire officials said the toddler was immediately checked out and showed no signs of heat-related distress.