Florence County paramedic demonstrates effects of being trapped in hot car

Florence County paramedic demonstrates effects of being trapped in hot car

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Monday may not have been the hottest day the area will see all summer, but one Florence County paramedic wanted to make sure residents knew what could happen if a child, a pet or the driver were stuck inside a car as temperatures rise.

Sgt. Kevin Holbrook said he's seen the scary situation time and time again, both locally and nationally. He wanted to use his own body as a way to demonstrate how quickly the effects of hot temperatures can progress, especially for the most vulnerable victims.

For 40 minutes, he sweated his way through an increasing heart rate, fluctuating blood pressure and harder breathing.

In the end, while the temperature outside was just 72 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature inside swelled to more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

"That dry air really takes a toll on your breathing, even with me trying to control it now," Holbrook said. "It's dry air in and dry air out. I wasn't getting any moisture or anything like that, and that's probably where we started to see the occasional PVC [Premature Ventricular Complexes] popping up. That's where we want to stop. We don't want to take it any further. We don't want to cause any damage. This is just to bring awareness."

Holbrook said he hopes his experiment will show parents and pet owners what could happen if their child or pet gets locked inside a hot car.

"There's so many scenarios you can apply this with, but we've seen such an increase in children left in back of cars," Holbrook said. "It's my understanding one happens right here today on the [Carolina Hospital System] campus, so be aware of what's happening. Be aware of the temperature."

Holbrook also noted that with increased technology, it's becoming harder and harder for emergency responders to break into locked cars.

"The bottom line is, if we have to break a window, we're going to break a window, whatever it takes to get inside that vehicle.," Holbrook said.

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