STAWELL Ambulance Victoria team manager Wayne Rice has urged Wimmera parents to be extra careful when locking their vehicles after an infant was accidentally trapped in a car on Sunday.
“The parents parked the car on the side of Longfield Street in Stawell about 2pm and got out to go to a shop across the road,” he said.
“Somebody accidentally locked the car, which I think was an early model Holden Commodore.”
With the keys still in the ignition, the couple was unable to get their six-month-old baby boy out of the car.
“The parents immediately realised what had happened and went to the milkbar and asked for assistance,” Mr Rice said.
Police, paramedics and fire-fighters rushed to the scene.
“When we arrived, there were people with pieces of wire trying to force the door open – they were certainly aware of the seriousness of the situation,” Mr Rice said.
He grabbed a tool designed for smashing windows, walked to the car and asked, “Which window do you want to say goodbye to?’’
Mr Rice estimated the baby was trapped in the car for about eight minutes.
“His mum reached in and grabbed him out – he was sound asleep in his baby’s seat,” he said.
Mr Rice took the infant into his air-conditioned ambulance to cool him down and do a medical assessment.
The baby’s health was unaffected.
“It is a very timely reminder for parents to take extreme care with children in cars, and check twice before locking the doors,” Mr Rice said.
“Had this been in an isolated location where the parents couldn’t immediately access a phone, it could have been far more serious.”
He said emergency services were also able to respond especially quickly, because it happened so close to the heart of Stawell.
“If people do accidentally lock their children in their cars, the first thing to do is get the emergency services on the road,” Mr Rice said.
“If we arrive and we’re not required, we don’t care.”
He said it would be a much less distressing situation for all concerned than having to revive a small child.
“A smashed window is a small price to pay,” he said.