Boonville Fire Department unveils Safe Haven Baby Box

Updated: Feb. 26, 2021 at 5:44 AM CST
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BOONVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The Boonville Fire Department unveiled a Safe Haven Baby Box at their station Friday.

Part of the dedication ceremony was to celebrate the extra 6,628 square feet built to quicken response time by making equipment more accessible.

Safe Haven boxes offer mothers in crisis a safe, anonymous place to surrender their baby if they feel they cannot keep it.

Boonville’s mayor tells us that box was donated to the department by the Right to Life of Southwest Indiana.

“To offer resources to mothers who are in crisis, ultimately save lives, and ultimately protect the lives of the most vulnerable population in our community,” said Boonville fire Chief Steven Byers.

One mother, Tessa Higgs, came to the dedication to share her experience. She adopted her baby Nola through Safe Haven.

“The babies are very loved and very wanted, and for whatever reason, the parents aren’t able to care for them, so the next best option would be to place them in a baby box and give them the opportunity of their lives,” shared Higgs.

“When I see these babies and see how hard we fight to get these boxes in so these babies can be saved, truly that is the fruit of our labor,” shared Safe Haven founder and CEO Monica Kelsey.

The box is climate-controlled and has silent alarms.

When a baby is placed inside and the door shuts, it locks and crews are notified within two minutes.

“We’re extremely grateful for Safe Haven baby boxes because without them we of course wouldn’t have Nola,” said Higgs.

Chief Byers says they’re most excited to potentially save more lives.

The Safe Haven Baby Boxes organization offers a Safe Haven National Crisis Hotline (1-866-99BABY1) and is available 24/7. It also offers counseling services to a parent who is unable or unwilling to care for their newborn.

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