Central Indiana authorities draw attention to the dangers of hot cars

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Officials with the Wayne Township Fire Department and the Indiana State Police were “sweating it out” on Monday, as a means to draw attention to the danger of hot cars.

Captain Mike Pruitt and Sgt. John Perrine locked themselves inside a car Monday afternoon in an attempt to show Hoosiers just how quickly a car can become dangerous in 90 degree weather. The pair live streamed the demonstration to help make their point. They stayed inside the car with windows up and no air conditioning for more than 40 minutes. Temperatures inside reached higher than 120 degrees.

“What I wanted people to do was close their eyes and imagine their child sitting in the back seat of that car going through what John and I went through. Nobody around, scared to death, with literally no hope unless somebody gets to that car quick or the parent returns quick,” Pruitt said.

Nationally, about 37 children die every year inside hot cars, according to kidsandcars.org. The website also lists that 10 children have died in hot cars in Indiana since 1997.

“We could’ve gotten out of the car at any time, a child that’s strapped into a car seat and doesn’t have that ability is just going to sit in there and bake and that’s devastating,” Perrine said.

The pair added that if you see a child suffering inside a hot car, you should first look for help and contact authorities, then take action.

The same goes for pets. A new law allowing limited liability for those who rescue pets out of hot cars goes into effect July 1. However, both Pruitt and Perrine stress that it has to be clear that the animal is in distress for the law to provide any protection.