TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Sugar Creek will be the latest fire department to receive a new resource that could help struggling new parents.
The Indiana Safe Haven law enables a individual to give up an infant anonymously without fear of arrest or prosecution. A baby box will be installed at the Sugar Creek Fire department in West Terre Haute.
This baby box will be in addition to the one set to be installed at Terre Haute fire station 5. Under the law, individuals have up to 30 days from when the baby was born to surrender the child into the baby box.
“That is why it’s being placed at, such as Terre Haute’s Fire station 5 and then also here at Sugar Creek Station 41 located in West Terre Haute, Indiana,” stated Sugar Creek POI Josh Sittler. “There’s someone there, 24 hours a day that the baby could be retrieved.”
Boxes will be environmentally controlled to combat weather conditions. Once the baby is dropped into the box, the firehouse as well as central dispatch will receive a notification.
According to Sittler, Terre Haute Deputy Chief Glen Hall and Amy Sittler of the Sugar Creek Fire Department were instrumental in starting the process of funding these baby boxes.
“I feel that one baby that is put into one of those boxes pays for that baby box in the end,” explained Sittler. “Safe Haven wants to ensure that box is working properly so our guys will be notified that there’s a baby in there.”
Sittler added that though these baby boxes have not been installed yet, the law allows parents to surrender infants at any local fire department or police station.
For more information on the Safe Haven law, go to in.gov and search search Safe Haven law.