When emergencies happen we call for help, but what if help refuses to respond? That was the dilemma that Lacey Guyton says she faced when her 2-month-old daughter was trapped in the car after it accidentally locked with her keys inside. The Clarkstron, Michigan, mom thought she was doing the right thing by calling 911 to help save her infant daughter from a dangerously hot car but was shocked to hear that dispatchers on the emergency hotline refused to send someone. Lacey ended up smashing the window herself and made the save, but now she is speaking out, arguing that no one should be refused when a child’s life is on the line.
Lacey had taken her daughter, Raina, to visit Lacey’s grandmother when she found herself locked out of the car with her infant trapped inside.
In a now viral Facebook post, Lacey explained that she got locked out after putting Raina in her car seat with her diaper bag and then shutting the door so that she could get to her seat. “As I walked around the car to my door,” she said, “I heard all the doors randomly lock and then immediately realized the keys were in her diaper bag in the car… having only a key fob and push to start car, touching the door handle with the keys inside should’ve unlocked the door and it didn’t.
“And my heart sank,” she said.
Terrified, Lacey had her grandmother call 911 “while I grabbed a huge chunk of asphalt off the ground and start bashing it on my front passenger window as hard as I could.” She said that her grandfather also gave her a window breaker tool to try to smash the window as well, but nothing was working. At a loss over what to do, the family was desperate to hear what emergency services had to say, but the answer they received shocked them.
“The 911 dispatcher told my grandma to call a tow company because they don’t send anyone out to unlock cars or break windows.”
“[But] I didn’t have time to wait for a tow company as my baby is screaming and getting hotter in the car,” she wrote.
“So I called 911 back and told her again my 2-month-old is locked in a hot car and asked her to PLEASE send a fire rescue just to smash my window. I didn’t care to wait for someone to unlock the door obviously I just wanted my windows smashed and my baby out,” she added. But again the dispatcher on the other end of the line told her that “they don’t send anyone out to break windows or unlock cars.”
The dispatcher offered to call Lacey a tow company, which Lacey reluctantly took so that they might as well be on the way while she again tried to smash the window.
Because of the “greenhouse effect,” cars can heat up very quickly on warm days, reaching up to 125 degrees in just minutes, according to Kids and Cars. Unfortunately, Kars4Kids explains that a kid’s body heats up much faster than an adult’s and it only needs to be 104 degrees before a child’s organs start shutting down.
“I checked on Raina again real quick and saw she stopped crying and was starting to close her eyes and at this point I didn’t know if she was going to sleep or if my baby was dying,” Lacey remembered. “Realizing no emergency help is coming to save my baby was the worst feeling in the world.”
Lacey finally got the vehicle open by smashing the back windshield. “I’ve never felt more relieved,” she wrote.
Lacey then grabbed for her keys so that she could unlock her daughter’s door but discovered that the key fob wasn’t working. “I tried hitting the unlock button on the door and for some reason, maybe it malfunctioned, but it just would not unlock so I manually unlocked the door and got her out and cooled down,” she wrote.
“12 minutes after I already had her out and calmed down is when the tow company showed up and that would’ve been too late. It was the most traumatic 15 minutes of my entire life.”
Now Lacey is speaking out about the incident so that no other parent experiences the same trauma that she went through.
She wrote that even though she is “so thankful [that] our daughter is okay, we’re extremely pissed that after calling 911 twice for our daughters life on the line, a dispatcher whose been there for years, still refused to send help.”
Waterford Chief of Police Scott Underwood did end up calling the mom and apologizing for the dispatcher’s “carelessness.” According to Lacey, he said that the woman would get more training. However, Lacey pointed out that “No one should need any training at all to know that you need to send help in that situation.”
And she even explained to parents who are reading her message what to do if their child gets trapped in the car.
“I now know that the back windshield of a car is the easiest to break so if anyone else is ever in a situation like this, don’t waste your time trying to break the side windows,” she said. “Just go right for the back windshield!!”