For the second time in just five months, a newborn baby has been safely recovered from a “baby box” at an Indiana fire department. The little girl, named Grace, was discovered on Sunday night.
The padded and climate-controlled box was installed about two years ago at Coolspring Township Volunteer Fire Department, near Michigan City. The aim of the installations is to enable mothers to leave their newborns anonymously and without fear of prosecution.
Lt. Chuck Kohler explained that he was able to be on scene tending to the baby girl about a minute after receiving a page, according to TIME. The child appeared completely healthy and was rushed to a hospital for medical care and assessment. The Indiana Department of Child Services said Wednesday that baby Grace is doing well and “is now in safe hands.”
“The whole first responder, father thing kicks in. You want to make sure that the baby is ok,” Kohler told KTXS-TV. “When I pulled the baby out of the box, my first thought was ‘baby Grace’… Saving Grace.’ It just popped into my head.”
The father-of-five commended the anonymous woman for making a safe choice for her child.
“We don’t know the situation, but … to be strong enough to make this choice is wonderful,” he added.
The drop boxes are fitted with a silent alarm that mothers can activate themselves when dropping off their child. Another baby girl was safely rescued after being left in the same box on Nov. 7.
“There are some moms that will go to the hospital. There are some moms that will walk into this fire station and hand that child over,” said Monica Kelsey, a Woodburn, Indiana, firefighter and medic who is the founder and president of Safe Haven Baby Boxes. “But we also know that there are some moms that don’t want their faces seen and this box is the reason why it’s working.”
“We’re giving her the power to do what’s right,” Kelsey, added, according to the New York Post. “We’re hoping that these girls know that once they push that button, their baby will be saved.”
According to the Safe Haven Baby Boxes website, “Monica has made it her personal mission to educate others on the Safe Haven Law and to do whatever it takes to save the lives of innocent babies from being abandoned.”
“The safe haven baby box takes the face to face interaction out of the surrender and protects the mother from being seen. Safe Haven Law provides No Shame, No Blame, No Names.”
All 50 states currently have some form of safe-haven laws (also known as “Baby Moses laws”), which permit these life-saving boxes to be placed at specific locations.
Indiana’s Safe Haven Law allows babies under 30 days old to be anonymously dropped off to any police department, fire station or hospital without any criminal charges.