For the first time, a newborn was rescued from a Missouri box dedicated for surrendered babies. The baby girl was anonymously placed in the safe haven box last week in St. Louis County.
During a news conference Monday, Mehlville Fire Chief Brian Hendricks said the baby is healthy and was rescued by first responders in less than one minute.
The Mehlville Fire Protection District has Missouri’s only safe haven baby. Rep. Jim Murphy, R-St. Louis County, led the effort to pass Missouri’s safe haven law. He said one baby box is not enough.
“Every hospital in this state should have a baby box,” said Murphy. “Every fire district should dedicate themselves to putting one of these in because they save lives. Today, we celebrate life and I can’t think of nothing more important than that.”
The box triggers an alarm to let the emergency responders know a baby has been left. Hendricks said the box is tested every Wednesday to ensure that it is properly working.
“The process worked exactly as it was designed to,” said Monica Kelsey, founder and CEO of Safe Haven Baby Boxes. “The fire department followed protocol to a T.”
The child will go up for adoption.
“It’s always just a selfless act that a mother does when she basically says, ‘I want what’s best for my child and it’s not me,’” said Kelsey.
The baby was taken to a hospital for evaluation, where she received the clean bill of health.
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