BST&G Fire District has installed a Safe Haven Baby Box located on the east end of the fire station at 350 West Cherry Street in Sunbury. The Safe Haven Baby Box will be available to the public starting on Tuesday, January 5 after the Safe Haven Baby Box Community Unveiling Event at 3:00 PM. This is the 4th Safe Haven Baby Box available in Ohio and the 56th in the nation.
The Ohio Safe Haven Law allows people to surrender their unharmed newborn without fear of criminal prosecution. The Safe Haven Baby Box provides a last resort option to surrender an infant, eliminating the face to face interaction with emergency medical personnel and ensuring a safe surrender of a newborn infant. The Safe Haven Baby Box organization also staffs a 24-hour hotline (1-866-99BABY1) to give women the opportunity to talk to a trained professional as they consider safely surrendering their baby. The hotline has received over 5,000 calls from all states in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Safe Haven Baby Box Inc. is a non-profit founded by a firefighter and paramedic Monica Kelsey. Kelsey was abandoned as an infant and is committed to installing more Safe Haven Baby Boxes in communities across Ohio. “We know that education and awareness around the Safe Haven Laws and Safe Haven Baby Boxes save lives. Women in crisis need more options, in more locations throughout the state of Ohio. This Safe Haven Baby Box will serve as a new resource available to end infant abandonment in this community and the surrounding areas,” says Monica Kelsey.
BST&G Fire District’’s Assistant Fire Chief, Rob Stambaugh, adds, “The BST&G Fire District is honored to host a Safe Haven Baby Box. It has been a long and incredible journey this year. We fought the battle of volunteer and material availability through the pandemic and we prevailed. This was certainly meant to be and we are a better community for it. This will absolutely make a difference in saving babies’ lives.”
There are 55 other fire stations and hospitals in Indiana, Ohio, Florida, and Arkansas equipped with Safe Haven Baby Boxes. Ten infants have been placed in Safe Haven Baby Boxes, with 6 taking place in 2020. Nationwide, 86 parents have safely surrendered their infants with the help of the Safe Haven Baby Boxes program. Safe Haven Baby Boxes are equipped with alarm systems to notify 9-1-1 immediately. Safe Haven Baby Boxes also have heating and cooling features and lock as soon as the baby is placed inside. Babies are retrieved from the inside of the building within 5 minutes by emergency medical personnel.
The Safe Haven Baby Boxes program costs roughly $15K to implement in a community. The BST&G Fire District location was primarily funded by a grant from Discount Tire Driven to Care Foundation. Local contractors also donated time and materials for the installation and therefore did not require any tax dollars.
For any questions, Monica Kelsey will be on sight at this blessing. For more information, please contact Monica at firstname.lastname@example.org