A mother in Michigan is raising concerns about the responsibility of emergency responders when a child is in a hot car, after she says police did not send an officer after she accidentally locked her baby in her vehicle.
Last week, Lacey Guyton was visiting her grandparents in Waterford, Mich. and brought her two-month-old daughter Raina with her.
After putting the baby in her car seat on Aug. 18, she closed the door only to realize her car keys were still in the now locked vehicle, inside the diaper bag, The Epoch Times reports.
“It was terrifying,” she told CBS News.
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According to Guyton, the car was programmed to secure its doors when the keys were in the car, resulting in the car being locked.
With high heat — The Weather Channel reports temperatures reached 28C or 83F on Aug. 18 — she attempted to smash one of the windows with a chunk of asphalt, CBS reports, but when that failed, her grandmother called 911 for help.
Chief Scott Waterford later told Fox News they do not, in fact, unlock vehicles.
The dispatcher said she would transfer them to a tow company to come help, but Raina’s mother began to panic more.
“I’m like, ‘Grandma, we don’t have time to call a tow company!’ Like I don’t know how many minutes I have until she’s passing out,” she said.
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Guyton again tried to break her car window but could not, so she called 911 once more and reached the same dispatcher.
She said she asked the dispatcher to send the fire department to break her window, but the dispatcher said fire crews don’t do that and could only send a “wrecker crew,” who would charge her.
At this point, she said Raina was screaming as the dispatcher kept saying they would have to call a tow company, before transferring Guyton to a towing business.
“I keep checking on her — she’s screaming at this point, making herself even more hot,” Guyton said.
Raina was eventually freed from the car after her mother used a tool to to break the back window.
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The two-month-old was “really sweaty, screaming, and just drenched in sweat,” Guyton said. She estimated the baby was in the car for about 10 minutes, so they brought her inside and cooled her down.
Riley is calling on police to correct what happened in order to prevent someone from losing their child.
Waterford agrees, saying he has apologized to the family and that the incident “was a mistake.”
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“It’s a common sense issue,” he said. “You call 911, you expect for somebody to come and give you help and we certainly should have gone and done that.”
He also said the person who took the call was a veteran dispatcher and should have known better. The woman will face disciplinary action, he said, and those on dispatch will receive more training in how to handle calls like Guyton’s.
Guyton said while she appreciates the apology, she still has concerns.
“It’s not something that needs any training to know it’s common sense,” she said. “You send help when someone is begging you to come help them save their child out of a hot car.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that a closed car can increase 20 degrees in only 10 minutes and once it reaches 107, a child dies.