Trapped in a Hot Car
Priority List for Rescue and Safety
We have all been repeatedly horrified over the past few years by the all too frequent news stories about babies, toddlers, and family pets who have suffered an agonizing death in a locked and overheated car. This should not happen. This does not have to happen.
We all need to be aware of what is going on around us and ne willing and ready to intervene whenever and wherever to save a life. We would of course want someone to do that for a member of our family. We ARE that someone for somebody else.
I am now carrying a hammer in my car so I will be prepared at any moment to assist some child or some pet in need. I hope you will do the same and spread the word.
My brother, who recently retired after 25 years as a firefighter, put all that I was feeling into the organized and prioritized format that is taught to young fire fighters. These are useful principles and if firemen use them, then so should we.
Saving a Life
Life Safety is always first so that the goal will always be to preserve life first. This includes any measure you perform to protect your own life, and then those of any endangered citizens. An example might be to park your car sideways in the flow of traffic to block and accident before you go out into the roadway to check on injured passengers.
In this way you will not be able to be run over by on coming traffic until your car is hit first, alerting you to any oncoming danger to you own life. If you have children or other passengers in your vehicle then you need to mitigate your risk another way before performing any life saving measures.
If a person or pet (yes the fire department rescues pets and so should you) was trapped in an over heating car, then according to you incident priorities you would perform all life safety measures first, for yourself, and then for the victim.
Do This Immediately
Incident Stabilization is the second incident priority. n the given scenario if the doors are locked, immediately break the glass to unlock a locked over heating car, remove the victim and call 911.
Property Conservation is the third incident priority and should in no way be considered when performing Life Safety tasks.
Risk a little to save little.
Risk a lot to save a lot.
Risk nothing for property and life that has already been lost.
Lieutenant Greg Ast
Cobb County Fire Dept.
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