A Florida sheriff’s deputy may have saved a young child from dying after being left in a hot car.
Video released by the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office last week shows Deputy Bill Dunn clutching the young girl after rescuing her from the sweltering car on a hot summer day in Central Florida.
Dunn discovered the girl in the locked vehicle during the late morning hours of June 17 – Father’s Day, authorities said.
The girl was “barely clinging to life” by the time Dunn got to her, according to the sheriff’s office.
For the third time this year, we’re proud to spotlight one of our life-saving employees. In June Deputy Bill Dunn rescued from a hot car, a three year old girl barely clinging to life. Now that she has recovered, here’s more on why children get left behind, and some simple ways to avoid a tragedy.
Posted by Seminole County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, August 16, 2018
Dunn, a father himself, didn’t think the girl was alive when he got to her, he said told WTSP-TV. Then, when he felt for a pulse, he could not detect one.
“You go from, it was probably 80 degrees outside, to where you have 109, 110-degree steam just rushing out at you,” Dunn said of the moment he opened the car door.
Dashboard camera footage from Dunn’s squad car shows him rushing toward help with the girl in his arms after he removed her from the vehicle.
He then blasted the air conditioning in hopes that it would help revive her.
“Once the cold air hit her, that’s when I noticed her eyes kind of fluttering,” he said.
The 911 call was not originally a medical call, so an ambulance was not nearby to assist. Realizing this, Dunn switched on his police sirens and rushed the girl to the hospital himself.
The whole way to the emergency room, he had one hand on the girl’s racing heart and the other on the steering wheel. Dunn also kept talking to the girl to keep her conscious.
“It’s OK, baby,” he can be heard saying in the dash-cam footage. “Talk to me.”
A trauma medical team was waiting for Dunn when he arrived at the hospital. After handing the girl to doctors, his body camera footage shows him slumping over the hood of his vehicle in exhaustion.
“My legs were a little weak,” he said, describing the incident as “an adrenaline dump.”
More than three dozen children nationwide die in hot car deaths every year. But, Dunn prevented the 3-year-old girl from becoming another statistic that day.
The girl was released from the hospital three days later and reunited with the deputy who saved her.
While that day may have been one of his worst days on the job, the positive outcome made it all worth it, Dunn said.
“Sometimes we’re able to have a moment like this, and it makes it all worthwhile,” he said.