‘This is just what we’re called to do’: Richmond firefighters rescue baby from locked car

Richmond firefighters rescue a baby from a locked car on Tuesday.
Richmond firefighters rescue a baby from a locked car on Tuesday.(Source;Richmond Fire Department | Richmond Fire Department)
Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 7:09 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 2, 2021 at 6:47 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Tuesday started off as a routine day for firefighters from Station 21 off Richmond Highway.

Around 2:30 p.m., the crew received a call for a baby locked in a car along the 2400 block of Webber Avenue, which is minutes away from the station.

Captain Pat Schoeffel, John Dixon Jr., Genova Williams and Nathan McFadden rushed to the scene.

“We arrived on scene, found that the mother had gotten out of the car and accidentally closed the door, and the windows were up, and the keys were locked in the car,” Schoeffel said.

“There was a language barrier, and she said the baby was in there for three minutes,” said McFadden.

These firefighters quickly jumped into action, and each took on a role to rescue the baby from the locked car.

“I was monitoring the kid, and they were working on getting the door open,” said Schoeffel.

The firefighters had some help from their kit to get into the car.

“It allows us to put a wedge in to get the door started open, and we have a special cuff that allows us to inflate, gets us a little more of a gap in the door,” Schoeffel said. “Then, we can use our tool to reach in their and unlock the door or open the door.”

Even when one of their tools broke out in the field, the firefighters were able to find another way to continue their efforts by using a blood pressure cuff inside their fire truck.

“The fire department is a job you need to think out of the box and make incidents come out in a positive way,” Schoeffel said.

This is the positive ending firefighters saw in this case by getting the baby out of the car, unharmed, five minutes after arriving to the scene.

“It’s always a good feeling when you get the kid out of the car, and you see the baby laughing and smiling, and the relief on the mom’s face is always gratifying,” said Dixon Jr.

Capt. Schoeffel said calls similar to this situation come in spells.

“Sometimes you get more than others, but we probably do 10 a year,” he said.

A call these firefighters said they’re proud to answer to save lives and help their neighbors.

“We really don’t look for recognition,” McFadden said. “This is just what we’re called to do.”

“This is gratifying,” Schoeffel said. “Put a smile on somebody’s face, taking their worst day and making it a little better for them.”

“We love serving our community, and that’s what we’re here for,” Williams said.

We are glad we could help one family in the Southside, after some scary moments this afternoon. At approximately 2:30...

Posted by Richmond Fire Department on Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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