Wrapped in a Sweatshirt, a 1-Hour-Old Baby is Placed in an Indiana Fire Station's Safe Haven Box - NBC Chicago

Wrapped in a Sweatshirt, a 1-Hour-Old Baby is Placed in an Indiana Fire Station's Safe Haven Box

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A 1-hour-old baby was dropped off in a Safe Haven baby box in Indiana Tuesday night--and the fire chief who found the newborn says he and the assistant chief are open to adopting the child. Trina Orlando reports. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017)

    A 1-hour-old baby was dropped off in a Safe Haven baby box in Indiana Tuesday night--and the fire chief who found the newborn says he and the assistant chief are open to adopting the child.

    One of just two Safe Haven baby boxes in the country was installed at the Coolspring Township Volunteer Fire Department last year.

    It was just used for the first time ever.

    "I could see through these holes there was actually something in there this time," Coolspring Township Volunteer Fire Department's Chief Mick Pawlik told NBC 5.

    Indiana Baby Left in 'Safe Haven' Box

    [CHI] Indiana Baby Left in 'Safe Haven' Box

    A parent faced with a heartbreaking decision leaves a newborn at a fire station. The baby is alive and well thanks to a Safe Haven baby box. NBC 5's Chris Hush has more on this life-saving last resort. 

    (Published Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017)

    Pawlik was the first responder to discover, who he now calls, Baby Hope.

    "I open the door and the babies head was right here," he recalled. "I get down here and I'm looking. I'm just staring at the baby making eye contact."

    Just before 10:30 p.m. the department received a number of alarms from its Safe Haven baby box. It's meant for mothers who feel they have no other choice but to hand over their baby.

    "[It's there] instead of us finding the baby in the ditch, the wood lines, the dumpster like we hear so many horrible stories," Assistant Chief Warren Smith said

    The mother opens the box from the outside--puts the baby on a small bed inside and then closes the heated box.

    It automatically locks.

    First responders are immediately alerted and access the box from the inside.

    "The baby was not cleaned up yet," Pawlik said. "It was still wrapped in a sweatshirt. It was bloodied. But the baby was calm. Calmer than I was, I know that."

    Under the Safe Haven law the mother will not face prosecution.

    Asked if he had anything to say to the mother, Pawlik spoke of gratitude.

    "I can't thank her enough," he said. "We don't know what's going through her head but she made a very wise decision last night."

    The baby is in the hospital and said to be doing well.

    The Department of Children and Family Services is now handling the case.

    Baby Hope will most likely be put up for adoption, but she might have already found her new home.

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