JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- More than 50 children died in 2018 after being left in a hot car and, so far this year, 18 children have died.
It happened again Tuesday in Evansville when a father said he forgot to drop off his son at day care.
In Jeffersonville on Wednesday, two firefighters went to extreme lengths to try and prevent another tragedy.
Jordan Yuodis from the Jefferson County Fire Department and Justin Ames with Jeffersonville Fire sat in a hot car for more than 20 minutes to graphically demonstrate the dangers to kids and pets.
With no air conditioner running, the temperature had reached more than 100 degrees after about five minutes and was increasing by about a degree every minute.
"The good thing is that we've got a stretcher out here," Yuodis said from inside the car. "We've got a paramedic. We're watching the temperate as it quickly rises. This just goes to show you how quick a child can die."
The two had prepared for the extreme heat by drinking lots of water beforehand, but kids often do not have that option.
"Leaving somebody in a hit car is basically torture," Yuodis said.
The firefighters bailed out after 24 minutes.
"No water, absolute sweat, soaking wet," a distressed Yuodis said. "The last reading was 123 degrees in the car."
Both men checked out fine but could not have safely gone much longer.
"We got out of the vehicle just in time," Yuodis said. "Both of us being adults, being first responders, dealing with medical emergencies, we knew it was time at that mark for us to get out."
The firefighters had made their point. The danger of heat stroke inside a hot car is very real.
"Even with the windows down, it can reach dangerous levels for prolonged periods of time," Ames said.
The two said everyone has a responsibility to keep children and pets safe.
If you spot danger, don't hesitate to contact authorities.
"It's OK to call 911 and have somebody do a welfare check on the individual or animal that's in the car," Ames said.
The firefighters said sometimes bystanders have to make an "adult decision" to break the car window to rescue a child.
"If that's what it comes down to, you need to do what you need to do as an adult," Yuodis said.
But, bottom line, the first responders said prevention is best. Look twice after parking your car, because a life could depend on it.
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