With temperatures predicted to rise next week, so will the chance for heat-related incidents. As KSMU’s Taylor Vance tells us, that includes an increased risk for children left in hot cars.
Randy Villines, assistant fire chief with the Springfield Fire Department, says the city has not had such a case this year. But as the temperature rise, the department is prepared.
“We have lots of tools and equipment on our apparatus and there is a specific tool made specifically for breaking out glass in cars and we carry it with us everywhere we go so it’s not a matter of finding the tool we have appropriate tools to make entry if needed,” said Villines.
Glass made in cars is five times stronger than the glass you have in your house, making the task of breaking in to rescue a child much more difficult. Villines encourages people to seek immediate assistance if they notice a child in a car.
“We want them to get a hold of [someone] whether it’s security at the mall or whether it’s calling 9-1-1 directly, that is something that we want to be very proactive with and get us there early, we would rather get there early and find out the parents are right there with the keys getting ready to drive away,” said Villines.
According to the Department of Geosciences at San Francisco State University, at least 17 children have died this summer in cases where they were left in cars.