First responders remind residents not to leave people, pets in hot cars
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Pine Belt first responders are taking time to remind everyone to be extra careful when it comes to leaving people and pets inside hot cars.
“Whenever you have those extreme heat days, everybody needs to be mindful of the time of day...,” said Robert Stephens, Hattiesburg Fire Department battalion chief. “...11 until dark, monitor how long they’re out in the sun... if they are outside, try to find some shade and drink plenty of water.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 53 children died as a result of being left or trapped in a hot car in 2018 and 2019.
While Hattiesburg-area first responders say they thankfully haven’t seen that kind of tragedy recently, they note it doesn’t take long for disaster to strike.
“It’ll take (a) short periods of time, less than a minute, for the inside, with no air running, for the car to be up over 100 degrees with the asphalt temperature,” said Stephens.
“People stop at a gas station to get fuel or something, they’ll cut their vehicle off... people get in a hurry and just forget,” said Taylor Shows, MHP Troop J public affairs officer.
Before you get out of the car, remember to double-check for any people or pets... as this could be the difference between life and death.
“Just please be extra cautious,” said Shows. “Turn around and look, make sure no one is in there when you get out to go into the store or bank... wherever you may be going.”
First responders say if you notice a person or pet locked inside a car without the engine running, you should immediately call 911.
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