MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — They have to prepare for everything, but when Engine 9 arrived one the scene of a recent call, firefighters said it was unlike anything they'd ever seen before.
"At the time it was about 97 degrees out, and the heat index was about 108," said Tyson Donaldson, a firefighter with the Murfreesboro Fire Rescue Department.
The call was for a disoriented subject. But when firefighters arrived in the parking lot of Kroger on Old Fort Parkway on Monday, June 13, what they found was something else entirely.
"Two police officers were making their way toward the car and said there possibly could be a baby in there."
But the windows of the hot SUV were tinted.
"We weren't even sure if there was a baby in the car-seat yet, but just shattered the window because seconds matter," said Donaldson. "Seconds matter."
Inside was a five-week old boy under blankets, sweating and barely breathing.
"I hate to say lifeless," said Marc Cartwright, an engineer with the department. "I mean, the baby was just lifeless."
An off-duty NICU nurse ran over to help. Crews immediately began administering medical attention to the baby.
"When we pulled that baby out, I didn't know if the baby was going to make it," said Donaldson. "I mean that is our worst fear is pulling a baby out that's not going to make it."
It's estimated he was in the car for 20 minutes.
But today the baby is alive and well.
"The passion of why we do it, it's because we care about the people around us. That's why we serve our community," said Donaldson. "That's why we're here in Murfreesboro."
"It's our job. Basically, its our job," said Cartwright. "We're here to protect and save."
The disoriented woman outside the SUV was Alexandria Lee, 27.
Police said they found a half-empty opened bottle of Tequila in the car. She was charged with a DUI, child abuse and child neglect.