Austin firefighters rescued two children left in a hot car while their mother was shopping. It happened Sunday when the temperature outside felt like 105 degrees. It's going to feel as hot as 107 degrees throughout this week.
In this photo, Firefighter Cameron Anguiano and Specialist Frank Foley cradle two siblings, ages 20 months and three years, after freeing them from a vehicle.
Moments before passerby Mikayla Calhoun snapped the photo, several people saw the children strapped in their car seats unsupervised inside a vehicle in a Northwest Austin parking lot. They called 9-1-1 and opened the car doors. Anguiano and Foley freed the children.
"You could tell they had been in there for a while because they were sweating profusely,” said Anguiano.
"Their backs were sweaty. Their hair was matted down with sweat,” said Foley.
The temperature was in the low 90s, but with all the humidity, it felt like 105. Anguiano says the mother was inside a store shopping. She was cited for the class c misdemeanor of child left in unattended motor vehicle.
"There was no circulation in there what-so-ever. It was a good thing we showed up when we did,” said Anguiano.
The firefighters are well-practiced on rescue efforts as the department has responded to 70 reports of children locked in cars this year.
Since the temperatures began to climb in April, seven children have needed medical attention after hot car incidents.
"Sayings that people use look before you lock. At Austin-Travis County EMS we go one step further. We say clear the car. That means front seat, back seat if you need to look in the trunk,” said Commander Mike Benavides.
Commander Mike Benavides says that kind of heat can be fatal in 10 minutes. He worries about the elderly as well.
"Once you start seeing someone illustrating signs and symptoms of behavior changes you need to get them out of the sun, move them, cool them, call 9-1-1,” said Benavides.
Fortunately, the children rescued from the vehicle on Sunday did not need medical help.
Firefighters say if you find children in a similar situation... Don't hesitate to help.
"Don't be shy. If you see something weird or wrong and you have a feeling about it, just give us a call. If no one would've called in, no telling how long those kids would've been in there,” said Anguiano.