TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The crew at Terre Haute Fire Station 6 was out on one of many calls Wednesday afternoon, when they received one unlike any other.
“They said they were just right around the corner returning from an emergency response and when they got there they went inside the fire house and the gentleman told them he wanted to turn the baby over to the fire crew,” said Fire Chief Jeff Fisher.
“It was kind of nerve wracking, you know, because when I got to the carrier we didn’t know what we had. The baby was covered up. We didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl. If it was breathing, if it wasn’t,” said John Schoffstall of station 6.
Station 6 and station 8 crews sprang into action right away to care for the baby.
“To show up and have engine six crew already there, [they] did all the work. [They] took care of the baby everything that needed to be done. We were just giving the baby a ride to the hospital to get checked out even further,” said William Holloway, a medic at station 8.
Fisher said this is the first time to his knowledge that a baby was dropped off at a Terre Haute Fire station.
He added that although this may a be a first, plans have been the works over the last few years to bring a Safe Haven Baby Box to Terre Haute.
It would be for those who may feel the need to turn their baby over safely and anonymously.
“A fire station is a safe haven. And for someone to realize, ‘I cannot take care of this baby,’ and want to give it over, take it to the fire station. That’s what’s great about these safe haven baby boxes,” Chief Fisher said.
Fisher noted that the baby boxes are heated and have lights. When a baby is dropped inside, it will sound an alarm to notify fire crews that a baby is there.
As for the baby girl, Holloway went to the hospital to check on her Thursday. She’s doing well.
“This being such a unique experience for all of us, you know. Something you hear about and you say, ‘It’s not going to happen to us, that’s not us,’ and then it happens to you. You want to check on that baby,” he said.
Fisher said he’s working along with Mayor Duke Bennett and the Terre Haute city attorney to bring a baby box to one of the fire stations.
He said they’re working to secure funding for the box which costs around $10,000.