HENDERSON, Ky (WEHT) – Washington, Indiana is set to bless the West End Fire Station Baby Box on Wednesday, September 6 at 3 p.m. EST at 1002 West Walnut Street.
Officials state the Baby Box is featured on the west end of the building and is available following the blessing 24/7 for anonymous surrender following the event. Officials say the Washington location is the 106th in Indiana and 14 surrenders via Baby Box in 2023.
Officials also say a Baby Box allows for the legal, safe, and anonymous surrender of an infant provided under the Safe Haven Law. It features three silent alarms alerting first responders to the presence of a surrendered infant. The baby will be attended to within five minutes and taken to the hospital for medical evaluation. Adoption occurs within 30 to 45 days by families who are signed up for foster care with the intention to adopt.
“Denny Smith and Louis Kavanaugh have been instrumental from the beginning of this project. They have been my biggest cheerleaders, support and always gave me the nudge I needed to get this project rolling again,” said Shawna O’Kelley Brinson, RN, Daviess Community Hospital.
Fire Chief Steve Walden stated, “Projects like the Safe Haven Baby Box are born from an idea. This idea has come to fruition because of the need, Shawna O’Kelley Brinson from
Daviess Community Hospital, and generous donors. The Washington Fire Department is happy to be able to house the Safe Haven Baby Box at the West End Fire Station.”
Officials also state since 2017, 35 infants have been placed in a Baby Box. Nationwide, over 130 surrenders have resulted from calling the National Safe Haven Baby Box hotline. Safe Haven Baby Boxes are currently available in Indiana, Ohio, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, New Mexico,
North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Missouri and Mississippi.