Reporter’s Notebook: Firefighters ride to the rescue

By Darrell Todd Maurina

After Lynn Madera and her husband worked all evening March 2 to help another person pack a trailer they were moving to Arizona, she put her 33-month-old daughter in their car seat with the engine running — and then found the doors were locked with no spare key available.
“So here we are out in the storm with my daughter locked in and the car running,” Madera said. “My husband tried prying the door and using hangars and other things to try to unlock it. I tried to talk my daughter out of her car seat to unlock the door. Nothing worked.”
Then the Maderas thought to call the Clovis Fire Department, which sent a truck with unlocking equipment.
“The fire department and the locksmith showed up and got my daughter out of the car with no charge to us,” Madera said. “I would like to truly thank everyone for their help. I was beginning to get a little frantic and even came to the point of wanting to just break out the window which at this time we cannot afford to replace.”
Fire Chief Ron Edwards said the department usually doesn’t handle car unlocks but does them when lives are at risk.
“It definitely is due to safety,” Edwards said. “With the car running it’s not as much of a problem as it would be with kids in a closed-up car during the summer, but we would still want to do that as soon as possible.”