DRIVERS who get locked out of their cars can benefit from a new partnership between AA and the local fire service.

The AA has been teaching firefighters skills to enter a locked vehicle quickly, safely and most importantly, with minimal damage to the vehicle – which would help save money.

It is the brainchild of South Wales AA patrol Steve Noel after he was helping an AA member in a car park and noticed a crew of firefighters trying to get into a locked vehicle that had a child inside.

He rushed over to help and was able to get the keys from the car without causing any damage to the vehicle.

He saw this would be an opportunity to help further, by setting up training sessions to enter locked vehicles with a reduced risk of damage compared to other techniques.


Stuart Bate, MAWWFRS deputy divisional commander, said: “Steve’s initiative, backed by his local managers at the AA, has been well received by our fire and rescue teams.

"Our crews are experts when it comes to protecting people and property and they have a real hunger to extend their knowledge even further, so when we received the offer from Steve and the AA, we grabbed it with both hands.

“The format of the sessions fits perfectly with our ongoing training requirements, so it’s a win-win for us, and for the broader public.

“The sessions we’ve held so far have been extremely insightful and highlight how both of our organisations have the people that we serve at the forefront of our minds.”

Wayne Short, AA performance leader, said: “We’re really proud of Steve’s commitment to this cause. Young children are fascinated with car keys. If you’re busy loading the car, it might be tempting to let them play with your keys to keep them occupied. But there’s a big chance they could end up locked in.

“Central locking means it’s all too easy for little fingers to accidentally push the button and lock the car from the inside. The same thing can happen if keys are left on a seat and a pet stands on the lock button of the keys.

“Our roadside patrols go out to so many incidents – more than 1,700 in 2021 – where they find a distraught member whose child or pet is locked in the car.”