Abandoned Baby at Fire Station Catches Firefighters by Surprise

Even though many city officials want to shut it down, the Save Haven Baby Box continues to prove that it saves the lives of at-risk infants.

Coolspring Township Volunteer Fire Chief Mick Pawlik was alerted to activity at their department’s Safe Haven Baby Box and assumed it was a prank at first. As soon as he peeked inside the box, his pulse began to race.

“I can see this sweatshirt, and I see a little bitty arm,” Pawlik said. “I opened it up, and that baby just looked me right in the eyes.”

Pawlik was at the station with fellow firefighter Nick Fekete, and the sight of the baby caused quite a stir. As they scrambled about in excitement, Fekete accidentally locked himself out of the building while searching for gloves.

“I’m all about kids,” Fekete said. “That’s why I’m as elated as I am right now.”

The baby was no more than an hour old, which only added to the firefighter's nervous excitement. “The umbilical cord was still on,” said Pawlik. “The baby was not even cleaned up yet.”

The baby, a 7-pound little girl, was taken to a nearby hospital and is healthy and in good condition.

Monica Kelsey, the creator of the Safe Haven Baby Box, hopes that this incident keeps these boxes in operation. Kelsey has had to repeatedly fight the state to keep them installed. Kelsey herself was abandoned as an infant just two hours after she was born.

“My heart is full for this little girl that is going to go on with her life,” she said. “My heart hurts for the mother as well.”

The Safe Haven Baby Box silently contacts 911 when it is opened and again if it detects movement inside the box. The person leaving the baby can also push a button that contacts emergency officials. The box contains a heater to keep the baby warm and can only be opened from inside the building once it is closed.

Pro-life advocates praise the idea behind these boxes and hope more can be placed in high-risk areas of the country. The Indiana Department of Child Services has challenged the legality of the boxes, however, but Kelsey has refused to shut them down.

While some states allow for babies to be legally surrendered to officials at hospitals, the boxes allow for a much more anonymous solution.

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