Newborn Dropped-Off At Local Fire Station

Fresno, CA, USA -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Safely Surrendered Baby Law

Firefighters are no strangers to helping deliver newborns, but Monday morning their fire station at Ashlan and Cornelia became a safe haven to save a baby.

Fresno Fire Captain, Gregg Skaggs answered a knock at the door of Fire Station 16 early Monday morning, and in the next instant he had a newborn baby boy in his arms. "I asked if something was wrong and she said no we need to give the child. I just confirmed what she said, she took me totally by surprise," said Skaggs.

A woman said she was dropping off a baby that her 12-year old sister delivered just hours ago and that the young mother and her family could not care for the newborn. The baby was full term and even had his umbilical cord still attached. Firefighters had to clamp the cord and bundle up the baby.

He's healthy. He's just now waking up. He's been very quiet, comfortable," said Skaggs.

The sister of the young mother asked repeatedly if the Fire Station was a Safe Haven.

California's Safe Haven law has been in effect since January 2001. Infants can be dropped off at Safe Haven sites such as fire stations, hospitals or other designated sites, within 72 hours of birth: no questions asked.

Firefighters said the young mother's decision to have the baby dropped off at the fire station was exactly what the law was meant to do. "We'd rather have this take place than have an alternative& outside environment ... finding him later ... discarded", said Skaggs, "she wanted the baby to have a good life."

The baby boy was taken to a hospital for health checkups and will be turned over to Child Protective Services. Under the safe haven law, the parent or guardian of the baby has days to re-claim the child.

Firefighters hope the young mother at least seeks medical care after just giving birth, but they reassure her, she will not face any prosecution because she did the right thing.


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