Infant “Safely Surrendered” to Fire Station

By Anthony Saude

 

Diamond Bar – A new mother “safe surrendered” her newborn son over to firefighters in Diamond Bar last week, authorities said Friday.

The woman first contacted Los Angeles County Fire Department Station 120, 1051 Grand Ave., Diamond Bar, via telephone the night of September 8 and asked if the station was a “Safe Surrender” site under California’s Safe Surrender Law, fire officials said in a written statement. Fire officials could hear the sounds of a baby crying in the background, the statement said.

Captain Michael Park informed the woman that all Los Angeles County Fire Stations are Safe Surrender site, his included. Capt. Park said that “the mother showed up with the baby later that evening, the baby looked to be in great health and was happy and active”.

“Following Safe Surrender procedures, the firefighters evaluated and transported the baby to local area hospital and notified the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.”

“The woman was issued an ID bracelet allowing her to reclaim her child within 14 days. Capt. Park says he the way he understands it is she can reclaim her baby with no questions asked but they don’t know how that part of the procedure works”. “If they bring them in with no questions asked they should be able to have the returned just the same”.

Capt. Park said  “This was first time any of the firefighters working that day had experienced the program in action and what a positive experience it was for the team, it shows that the program does work in discouraging mothers from abandoning newborns and prevents first responders from finding babies in worse. “DCFS will place the baby boy in a safe, loving home, should the mother decide not to return 14 days from the day of surrender.”

Captain Park said “Even with the safe surrender laws it takes courage just to believe that there aren’t any repercussions to walk into a fire station and surrender your child no matter what you are told”. “The mother said that she just couldn’t take care of the baby properly in her current situation”. “That is the definition of selflessness and the reason this law was created; she wanted what was best for her baby and knew he couldn’t get it from her”.

Under the Safe Surrender law, parents who are unable to care for newborns are able to legally leave their children at any county hospital or fire station within 72 hours of birth, with no questions asked, so long as there are no signs of physical abuse.

For more information, call on Safe Surrender in Los Angeles County, visit www.babysafela.org or call 877-222-9273.