A Tragedy Averted, A Lesson To Learn
A tragedy was averted last week in Modi’in when a two-and-a-half-year-old child was left in a hot car alone. Thankfully, the child was rescued before any lasting damage occurred.
The incident occurred on Monday afternoon. The United Hatzalah dispatch center received an emergency call from a concerned bystander that a child had been left in a closed vehicle on Tishrei St. To the luck of the child and the child’s family, the car had been parked in a shady spot. The child had been in the car for at least half an hour by itself and had the car been parked in the sun, the situation would have most likely ended differently.
United Hatzalah volunteers Avi Devlinger, received the urgent call from the dispatch center, dropped what he was doing and raced to the location of the vehicle. “I was sitting at home with my children when I received the urgent alert telling me that there was a life in danger. When you receive a dispatch like that and the dispatcher adds that there is a life in danger, you run like a madman to the scene and get there as fast as you can,” said Devlinger. “I arrived in next to no time and I saw a woman with two small children aged 6-7 standing in front of a car. In the car was a small child.”
According to Devlinger the infant did not appear to be lethargic but was responding to the gesticulations of the other young children. The confused woman, who turned out to be the infant’s mother said that she returned from shopping with all three of the children. When she exited the vehicle with her two eldest, the keys got locked inside the vehicle when the door was closed accidentally.
The mother called emergency services and a police car as well as a fire and rescue team were dispatched, but Devlinger arrived in less than two minutes as he lived on a nearby street.
“I asked the mother how long the child was locked in the vehicle for and she said it was close to half an hour. If the car was sitting in the sun for that long there was no chance that a two-and-a-half-year-old would survive. He would simply dehydrate to the point of death long before that. Try to park the car in the sun for five minutes and sit inside it with the windows up. See how warm it gets.”
After the Fire and Rescue teams evacuated the child from the car, Devlinger checked his vital signs. “We found that his vital signs were okay. His body temperature had risen, but it wasn’t anything that required any form of treatment. This child was very lucky. In many cases, these situations end very differently.”
President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer, said in response to the incident, “This incident ended happily, but unfortunately many such incidents end in tragedy. We cannot stress enough how important it is for parents to not leave children in closed cars for any amount of time. Not even for a minute. It is likewise important to make sure to take your keys with you and not leave them in the car so that the car doesn’t accidentally lock as it did in this case. In the heat of an Israeli summer, leaving a child in a closed vehicle can cause severe brain damage or death in mere minutes. ”