November 8, 2017-Cool Springs Township (LaPorte County) firefighters sprung into action yesterday after they were alerted that an infant had been left in the “safe haven” baby box. According to a release from the LaPorte County Sheriff, “On Tuesday November 7, 2017 at 10:24 PM emergency responders were dispatched to the Coolspring Township Volunteer Fire Department at 7111 W CR 400 N after the La Porte County 911 Center received an alarm from the “Safe Haven Baby Box”. Coolspring Fire Chief Mick Pawlik was the first to arrive at the station, within five minutes, and found that a newborn infant had been left in the baby box.” An abmulance was immediately dispatched and the infant was transported to a local hospital. According to the statement, the infant “appeared to be healthy and in good condition.”
Chief Pawlik, who rode with the child to the hospital in the ambulance, stated “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. We are grateful that the mother had this option and made this choice and we remain concerned for her health.” The Safe Haven Baby Box was installed at the fire department on April 28, 2016 and was just the second such device installed in the United States.
Pursuant to Indiana’s Safe Haven Law, an infant under the age of 45 days may be abandoned with an emergency medical services provider (hospitals, EMS, fire departments, and law enforcement agencies). The mother or other person leaving the child is protected from prosecution so long as there is no abuse. (See https://www.in.gov/dcs/2915.htm)