They’re the heartbreaking, terrifying sights a growing number of people seem to be noticing this summer: Babies and toddlers strapped in child-safety seats inside hot, locked vehicles.
Emergency workers were dispatched to that very scene in Hoboken, New Jersey, after numerous witnesses said they saw a baby inside a locked “sweltering” SUV on Thursday, reported WCBS-TV in New York.
When the rescuer arrived, as you might imagine they acted quickly and decisively to gain entry. The tiny figure inside was motionless.
So they smashed the driver’s window and got inside.
Yet not a twitch or a cry from the child-safety seat occupant — and typically that’s an awful sign.
But not in this case.
It wasn’t moving or crying because it’s a life-size, apparently very real-looking doll.
WABC-TV in New York reported that it even has a name: Todd.
The doll belongs to Luz Kitty Mieles’ 2-year-old granddaughter who left “Todd” inside Mieles’ SUV. Later Mieles’ brother used the vehicle to visit friends.
“When he came out, there were the cops and the ambulance and they broke the window thinking that there was a baby in there, but it wasn’t a baby, it was a doll,” Mieles told WABC.
Thomas Molta, president of Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corp., defended the rescuer’s actions.
“I saw pictures of the doll and it looked real,” Molta told WABC. “I got 34 years’ experience in EMS and I probably would have broken the window too.”
He added: “Seconds are paramount there, that’s the difference between a baby breathing, not breathing, pulse, no pulse.”
“The guys that were on the ambulance are taking a beating by their coworkers, but it’s all in good fun,” he told WCBS. “But again, I’d rather err on the side of caution. You can replace a window. You can’t replace a life.”
WCBS reported that the city would pay for the damage to Mieles’ SUV.