Second Newborn Left in Indiana 'Safe Haven' Baby Box, Firefighters Applaud Safe Alternative

The second child in just five months was found safely inside a northwest Indiana fire department's "Safe Haven Baby Box" Sunday evening. 

The newborn child, nicknamed "baby Grace" by staff, was placed in the baby box at 7:05 p.m. Sunday, Assistant Chief Warren Smith of the Coolspring Township Volunteer Fire Department told The Times of Northwest Indiana. Lieutenant Chuck Kohler was the first to arrive on the scene after motion detectors notified firefighters and 911 that a baby is placed in the heated drawer.

The baby was found on the tiny foam mattress inside the warm box with its umbilical cord still attached, according to firefighter Mick Pawlik.

Indiana is currently home to the only two baby boxes in the country. In addition to the built-in devices to notify authorities, the box can only be opened from the inside once the child is enclosed. 

LaPorte County Emergency Medical Services and the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office also responded to the fire station alerts, although Smith said Kohler was able to arrive within one minute of receiving the page and heard the child crying. Smith told local reporters that the infant appeared to be in good health and was taken to Franciscan Health in nearby Michigan City, Indiana.

"We are excited—another life saved," Smith told reporters, according to The Times of Northwest Indiana. "We just have to thank the mother for doing the right thing. Any time I think about this, I smile." 

The creator of the baby boxes, Monica Kelsey, said the second and only other safe method of abandonment for mothers is located at a Woodburn fire station near Fort Wayne, Indiana. Kelsey, who is president of Safe Haven Baby Boxes Inc., said she plans to install a third box in Ohio on April 26. Kelsey told The Times of Northwest Indiana that she herself was abandoned at a hospital in Montpelier, Ohio in 1973 just several hours after she was born. 

“I want to thank the mom for doing the right thing, and having the courage to find a safe place for her newborn, and surrendering it under the Safe Haven law,” Kelsey told WBBM-TV

Since the box was installed, the baby box at the Coolspring Fire Station has been used twice. In November 2017, a baby girl the firefighters named "Hope," was left in the box a few days before Christmas.

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