WATERFORD, MI (RNN) – Police say a 911 operator will face disciplinary action after a mother says the operator wouldn’t send first responders when her baby was accidentally locked in a hot car.
Mother Lacey Guyton said the worst day of her life was Aug. 18 when her 2-month-old daughter Raina was locked in a hot car, according to WJBK.
The mother and daughter were visiting Guyton's grandparents in Waterford, MI, and when it was time to leave, Guyton put her daughter in her car seat.
The car doors then inexplicably locked – with the keys and baby inside.
Guyton's grandmother, Mary Riley, called 911 while Guyton tried to break the window with a piece of asphalt.
According to the two women, the 911 dispatcher was not responsive to their pleas for help. In two separate calls, she said she wouldn’t send the police or fire department.
"She says, 'Ma'am, we can't unlock cars or break windows.' And then you feel so helpless. All the help we think we were going to get - the only help we were going to get - we don't have it," Riley told WJBK.
The dispatcher transferred both calls to a tow company, the women said.
Guyton was extremely worried about her daughter’s health and that she would pass out in the hot car, according to WJBK. She said the little girl was screaming and making herself even hotter.
Finally, the mother broke the car's back window out with a tool and rescued Raina.
"She was really sweaty, screaming, and just drenched in sweat," Guyton told WJBK. "She was probably in there like 10 minutes, so we immediately got her out, got her inside, cooled her down."
Police Chief Scott Underwood apologized to the family, saying the dispatcher made a mistake.
"It's a commonsense issue. You call 911, you expect for somebody to come and give you some help, and we certainly should have gone and done that. We made a mistake, and we need to fix that," Underwood told WJBK.
Typically, the police department would not send help to someone who locked their keys in their car, but because there was a baby in danger, Underwood said they should have responded to the call, the Oakland Press reports.
"We want to make sure everyone understands that although our policy is not to assist with locked vehicles, there are extenuating circumstances like children, pets or elderly, anyone who can’t help themselves. We need to be responsible and have a clear delineation," he said.
In addition, Underwood said the 911 dispatcher who handled the calls will face disciplinary action.
"We will speak with her and handle this within the disciplinary process and use this as an opportunity for remedial training for her and this dispatch center," Underwood told the Oakland Press.
Guyton said she appreciates the apology, but she isn't sure additional training will help.
"It's not something that needs any training to know it's common sense. You send help when someone is begging you to come help them save their child out of a hot car," she told WJBK.
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