Firetrucks and Paramedics | An Unexpected Experience

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

About a month ago, Michael, the girls and I experienced something that I pray will never happen again.  We are so fortunate that it not only happened the way that it did, but that our amazing firefighters and paramedics acted quickly.  We are so thankful for them and for all first responders.

It's not often that we are all up early on a Saturday morning and actually ready to start the day.  When it wasn't even 8am and we were showered and dressed, we thought we would take advantage of that and go out for breakfast.  We had company over the night before and I still had not finished cleaning the kitchen, the girls were in really good moods too, so it made sense to get out and enjoy the morning.  I. Was. So. Wrong.

Michael and I have a routine when we are getting the girls ready to head out.  It is very chaotic and needs some work, but we manage.  Typically, I run around like a chicken with my head cut off while shouting at Michael to make sure we have everything and Michael gets the girls in the car.  On any other day, they would be waiting for me in the car while I finish grabbing our things.  This day was a little different.

This day, I actually wasn't rushed and had what we needed ready to go.  I had just put Charlotte in the car and Michael was buckling Emma up and had asked for the keys.  I handed them to Emma, which I told Michael it was ok.  It wasn't.  When it's just the girls and I going somewhere, I put Charlotte in first and then I let Emma hold the keys while I buckle her in.  I always grab the keys from her and then we leave.  It never crossed my mind that Michael would do something completely different.

I shut Charlotte's door, put their backpack and my purse in the passenger seat, shut that door and then went to walk back inside because I forgot to grab my water.  As all of that is happening, I hear Emma lock the door, watched Michael grab the keys from her, toss them in the front seat and at the same time I shut the passenger door, he shuts Emma's door.  We immediately both look at each other as he tried to open the driver's door.
We had just locked our 6 month old and toddler in our SUV!

I am so thankful that I am not someone who panics in most situations and I married someone who is the same.  Of course, we are both freaking out in our heads, but as calm as we could be, we acted appropriately to get our girls out as soon as possible.  Michael got on the phone with AAA and after walking over to my neighbors house, I called 911.  AAA tells Michael that it could be 45 minutes before someone could get there.  Are you kidding me?!  Who in their right mind would make someone wait 45 minutes to get their children out of a locked vehicle.  We were so shocked by this!  So, if you are ever in an emergency situation, I would not recommend calling AAA.

Of course, we are doing everything we can to keep our girls calm through all of this.  Emma thinks it's a game, but Charlotte (who hates being in her car seat) starts to get upset after a few minutes. 

After (maybe) 5 minutes, we hear sirens and know they are meant for us.  The firefighters show up first, ask us what happened and get to work right away.  Shortly after, paramedics show up so they can check on the girls once we are able to get them out.  Both teams stayed calm, did not judge us for what happened, stayed positive and were just as concerned for the girls as we were.

OK...Let's rewind about 10 minutes to right after we locked the keys in the car.  I asked Michael where the spare keys are...he says, "the middle console".  I ask him what the code to unlock the door is...he can't remember.  This is a situation we never would have thought we would ever be in.  No, it doesn't make sense to have spare keys INSIDE the car, but they were and at that moment, there was nothing we could do to change that.  We have never used the door code and I've honestly never thought to ask about it.  It's not something that I've ever had on a vehicle and we just got our SUV back in December.  Are you judging us yet?  Maybe, maybe not.  Fortunately for us, we are human and we learned a HUGE lesson in all of this.  I now know the code and the spare keys are in a safe place.  Oh-Emma will not have the keys again either.

It took a total of 20 minutes for the Saint Petersburg Fire Department to get our doors open.  It was a very long 20 minutes!  There were a few times we thought we would have to break a window.  Charlotte was still crying and starting to sweat.  Emma no longer thought this was fun either and starting to get a little annoyed.  For a two year old, I will say she did amazing through this ordeal.  Anyhow, one of the paramedics helping actually starting putting in codes and got it unlocked after his third try.  Can you believe that?!  Everyone came inside afterwards to cool down and check the girls out.  We were a little shaken up after it was all said and done, but the girls were safe and happy when we got them out.

When I say that I am thankful that this experience happened the way it did, I mean it.  It could have been so much worse.  We live in Florida and it's Summer.  It could have happened mid-day with 90+ degree temps in the middle of a parking lot, but it didn't.  We were still parked in our garage and it was still early enough in the morning that it hadn't started getting too hot.

We recently (after this experience) decided to take the girls to our local fire station to meet a few firefighters and learn a little more about what they do!  Sonny and Jimmy were so wonderful with them and Emma loved getting to check it all out!

My hope in sharing this, is that you will double check that you have what you need in case of an emergency like this one.  Again, we never thought something like this would happen and pray it never happens to you!

Here are a few pictures from our trip :)


  1. Seriously this happens to the best of us! I'm glad it all turned out well! I bet the girls enjoyed their trip to the fire station too. I have two little girls who LOVE going to visit daddy at the firehouse.

    1. I'm so glad to know we aren't terrible parents ;) They loved going to the fire station. Thank your husband for his service from us!

  2. When my son was 12 months old I also accidentally locked him in the car. It was outside too, in the summer, in the Atlanta heat. I was hysterical and was literally about ready to bust open a window. Luckily the fire department was able to get the front door of the van open but I was a hot mess!!

  3. Oh no!!! I'm so glad they acted so quickly! XOXO

  4. Oh man I would have totally freaked! That is one of my biggest fears and I'm sure it's bound to happen to everyone at some point! Thank goodness for modern technology

  5. I am ALWAYS worried this will happen to me. It doesn't take neglect or even a stressful situation to have something go incredibly wrong in a split second. I'm so glad it turned out all right for you! My husband is a first responder, and I'm thankful everyday for his job!