Newborn surrendered to Safe Haven Baby Box less than one hour old
Knoxville Fire Department officials said the baby who was surrendered to its Safe Haven Baby Box was about 30 minutes old.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - For the first time, Knoxville Fire Department’s Safe Haven Baby Box saved a life. The baby boy was not born in a hospital and was likely surrendered less than an hour after birth, according to Knoxville Fire Department Assistant Chief Mark Wilbanks.
“We believe that she probably just came straight to the fire station and surrendered the baby here,” Wilbanks said.
Just three minutes after the baby box’s silent alarm was activated, firefighters responded to the healthy newborn. He was transported to the hospital by ambulance and is now in the Tennessee Department of Child Service’s care.
The Safe Haven Baby Box, located at 4804 Western Avenue, is the first in Tennessee. It was installed on February 17. Wilbanks said KFD was surprised and thrilled at how quickly the box was utilized.
“We are glad this is a community resource that’s available to anyone that’s in crisis that doesn’t know what to do with a child,” he said.
In addition to giving a safe place for newborns, Safe Haven Baby Boxes aim to give resources to birth mothers. When the box door opens, a packet with information to help the parent is available.
Tennessee is a Safe Haven state. Parents can anonymously surrender newborns up to two weeks old, without fear of being prosecuted.
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