Deltona firefighters launch campaign to reduce hot car deaths of kids, pets

DELTONA, Fla. – Deltona firefighters and city officials launched a campaign to reduce the number of hot car deaths of children and pets.

"It happens all the time, the fatalities. You can't comprehend how they happen, but neither can we, unfortunately the people involved you know they're devastated," said John Viccaro, Lt. Medic with the City of Deltona Fire Department.

According to noheatstroke.org, Florida had 72 heat-related deaths of children left in vehicles from 1998-2015, trailing only Texas, which had 100.

"Its generally when a change of routine happens and you get caught up in the day and what's going on, and you're thinking about work and you're on your way to take your kid to daycare or something like that and then you just get into that autopilot mode," said Bill Snyder, Fire Chief for the City of Deltona.

As kids are released for summer vacation, the fire department is partnering with State Farm and Halifax Health to spread awareness with a traveling display.

The demonstration shows the temperatures inside and outside a car, and how quickly they can rise. News6 watched as the numbers inside the car climbed from 69.5 degrees to 105, in just 10 minutes.

"A month ago it was cool, you know it gets hot in Florida, but it's cool you can get away with a minute in a car you know, you can't do that now," said Viccaro.

The hot car display will appear at various Deltona retail stores, including Walgreens, State Farm offices and fire stations during the summer.

Firefighters are asking everyone to keep these tips in mind:

*Never leave your child or pet alone in a car - not even for a minute.
*Make sure to leave your car locked when you are not in it so children can't get into it on their own.
*Create reminders by putting something in the backseat of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination.  This is especially important if
you are not following your normal routine.
*Take action if you see a child or pet alone in a car, call 911.

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