Thursday, September 27, 2012

Locked Out

Last thursday morning has been going just like most days, including breakfast, sesame street on TV, morning clean-up, etc.  Dan was working a half day, and took the Altima with him to work because we were going to be running errands in the truck when he got home around 12:30 and we're trying to conserve gas.

We had recently sold our office chair to a girl about 20 minutes south of us who didn't have a way to pick it up and was willing to give us a little gas money to deliver.  Thursday morning, before Tyler went down for his nap, I decided we would load up in the truck and go deliver the chair before Dan got home from work.

We get outside, I set my wallet & phone down on the driver's seat, buckle Tyler up in his carseat, start the truck and turn on the A/C before running back in to get the chair and load it in the bed of the truck.  
I get the chair all loaded up, walk around to get in the truck...and the door is locked.

I was about to have a serious panic attack because we only have 1 key for the truck.
(I know, we should have had a second key made right away.  I knew we should, and I definitely did later that afternoon)

Now, to my defense this was not complete parental neglect.  The lock on the drivers' side of the truck has never worked right.  You have to hold the key in the unlock position while you pull on the handle or it won't unlock all the way for you to open the door.  So, I had done this when I opened it the first time, but apparently when I closed the door to go get the chair, the lock slid back down just enough to lock me out...

I ran inside to try my luck with a metal hanger...No Dice.

I ran next door to see if my neighbor had any ideas of how to open it.  He came out with a metal hanger as well, trying different methods than I had, but still...No Dice.

Now, if you remember, I had set my phone on the seat of the truck also, so I had no way to even call anyone for help.  I was trying to think of who would be the fastest and cheapest to come open the door before Tyler started to panic.  I used my neighbor's phone and ended up calling the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.  They made it slightly more serious because there was a baby in the car, even though the A/C was on.  The operator said she was sending an officer right over and connecting me to the Fire Dept.

Well, because of our wonderful city neighbors south of us in good old Florence refuse to let we in San Tan Valley become an incorporated city, we are privileged to get to use the Rural Metro Fire Dept.  Which means that every year we get something in the mail asking us to subscribe for fire coverage. (Something like $350 a year)

Naturally, last year when it came to us for the first time, we decided against it thinking that the chances of us needing the Fire Dept. were slim to none... The catch is that if you don't subscribe each year, if they ever do need to come to your house, they charge you some outlandish fee.  I had no idea what to even expect as far as a fee for unlocking my truck door was concered, but the operator was connecting me nonetheless.

Within 5 minutes or so of making the call, 2 sheriffs and a small fire pick up truck arrived and went to work with their slim jims and other fancy lock picking tools.  Even with all their knowledge and fancy tools, it ended up taking about 20 minutes and prying the door somewhat open and hitting the unlock button inside.

When all was said and done, Tyler was locked in the truck for almost an hour.  By the end, he had started getting scared and was crying but at least I knew that it was just fear and fatigue setting in and that he wasn't in any danger.

The fire guy packed up and left pretty quickly, along with the 2nd sheriff that arrived.  So the first one to arrive was also the last one to leave.  He was a very nice guy, and after everyone else was gone informed me of the subscription to the Fire Dept. and that he highly suggests it because we have little ones and never know when we might need help.  He then told me that the gentleman that came from the Fire Dept. that day told him he was going to tell his dispatcher that the Sheriff was ultimately the one who unlocked the door so I wouldn't get charged for the call.  He said if they were to charge me, it would have been between $800 & $1000...

Lesson learned.  Next year when the subscription comes in the mail, we will be sending them a check.  As mentioned before, I also went and had an extra key made for the truck that afternoon.

All in all it was a scary experience, but all worked out in the end.  Definitely a baby book/blog worthy story though, that's for sure!

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