Newborn infant left in ‘Baby Box’ at Coolspring Township Volunteer Fire Department

Staff Writer

On Tuesday Nov. 7 at 10:24 p.m. emergency responders were dispatched to the Coolspring Township Volunteer Fire Department at 7111 W CR 400 N after the La Porte County 911 Center received an alarm from the "Safe Haven Baby Box". Coolspring Fire Chief Mick Pawlik was the first to arrive at the station, within five minutes, and found that a newborn infant had been left in the baby box. An ambulance from La Porte County Emergency Medical Service arrived a short time later and transported the infant to Franciscan St. Anthony's hospital in Michigan City; the infant appeared to be healthy and in good condition.

Chief Pawlik, who rode with the child to the hospital in the ambulance, stated "when this box was installed, we hoped that it would never be used yet were thankful that it exists for cases just like the one Tuesday night. We are grateful that the mother had this option and made this choice and we remain concerned for her health." The Safe Haven Baby Box was installed at the fire department on April 28, 2016 and was just the second such device installed in the United States.

The sheriff's office and the Indiana Department of Children and Family Services were both notified. Indiana does have a safe haven law that allows for a newborn infant to be given up without fear of arrest of prosecution.