Quick-thinking first responders rescue local child from hot car

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Locking your child in a car on a hot summer day is a parent’s worst nightmare, and was more than a nightmare for one Lyon County woman.

When one Lyon Co. woman locked her toddler in the car, Northeast Kansas was not only having a warm summer day but also experiencing an excessive heatwave.

Madison Dragonas is a dispatcher in Lyon County and answered the 911 call from the young mom struggling to get her daughter out of the locked car.

“We have procedures that we have to go through and questions we have to ask. Are the windows rolled up? Is the vehicle on and running? And how old is the child?” Dragonas said. “The windows were rolled up, the vehicle was not on and running and the child was a year and a half old.”

The mother did not forget her child. She accidentally locked the car with the only set of keys inside.

“I shined my flashlight in the car, the child smiled, the child was sweating,” said Deputy Jason Gifford, who was called to the scene. “The child didn’t look too distraught at that point so at the time I called Flint Hills Towing back again and he said he was a minute away.”

Jason Birk with Flint Hills Towing says there were concerns about how much this would cost.

“I said it’s not a matter of money anymore. And I said we just need to get there and get this child out, it’s too hot,” Birk said.

Birk said he was thinking of his own daughter when he finally unlocked the doors and rescued her.

“The quicker the better in moments like that because every second counts when a child that young is locked in a car without it running,” Dragonas said.

Flint Hills Towing says many new vehicles have auto-lock features. Therefore, it is a good idea to make sure you have a second set of keys and to know exactly where they are in case of an emergency like this one.

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