Thursday, December 14, 2017
Nation & World

Newborn left in ‘Safe Haven Baby Box’ at Indiana fire station

A newborn is alive today after she was left in a "Safe Haven Baby Box" at an Indiana fire station only about an hour after she was born, according to sheriff’s officials and published reports.

The child was left in the box Tuesday night at the Coolspring Township Volunteer Fire Department. The baby box was installed in April 2016 and at the time was only the second such device in the nation, according to a post on the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office.

The boxes are designed as tiny incubators that provide heat or cooling to keep the child comfortable. An alarm also is activated when a child is put inside, alerting emergency personnel within 30 seconds.

After the alarm was activated Tuesday, Fire Chief Mick Pawlik arrived at the station within five minutes and found the infant. He called 911, then rode with the child to the hospital in an ambulance.

Rescuers named the baby Hope. She appears to be healthy and in good condition.

"When this box was installed, we hoped that it would never be used yet were thankful that it exists for cases just like the one Tuesday night," Pawlik said. "We are grateful that the mother had this option and made this choice and we remain concerned for her health."

Indiana has a "safe haven law" that allows for a newborn to given up without fear of arrest or prosecution.

Florida also has a safe haven law in which babies up to seven days old can be left with an employee at any hospital, emergency medical services station or fire station.

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