A temperature-controlled Safe Haven Baby Box has been installed at a fire station in Knoxville, where the firefighters at Station No. 17 are responsible for helping the newborn when selfish parents flee from responsibility of rearing a child.
Assistant Fire Chief Mark Wilbanks tells AFN the Baby Box is built on the outside of the fire station with a special alarm that sounds when the baby arrives.
“They can come to the outside of the building, turn a handle, and open the box,” he explains. “They can place the child into a bassinet and then they can close the door.”
The alarm sounds after a couple of minutes, giving the person time to escape.
Knoxville’s baby box is the first one in Tennessee, where a state law allows the abandonment of newborns if the child is unharmed and no more than two weeks old.
“Our idea,” said Wilbanks, “is that this is a place for a parent – and it can be a mother or a father, mind you – this is a place for a parent that they can legally surrender their child because they don't know what to do. It is a community resource.”
To date, a total of 135 baby boxes have now been installed nationwide after the City of Knoxville added one to Station No. 17.