Danville gets safe baby box at fire station
Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, October 3, 2023
By Lance Gaither, Danville Advocate-Messenger
The new Safe Haven Baby Box at Danville Fire Station 2 is now in operation. The baby box is the 21st of its kind in the state and the 167th in the country, according to fire officials. The box allows a mother in crisis to surrender her child with complete anonymity.
“We are very excited, this is going to be a great asset not just for Danville and Boyle County but for our region,” said Fire Chief Doug Simpson. The fire department was able to purchase the box thanks to a $16,000 anonymous donation. Installation was performed by Danville Public Works with the assistance of the Danville IT department. “Danville is known as the City of Firsts, and this is another example of how this city comes together comes together and offers these ideas and things in our community,” said Judge-Executive Trille Bottom. “The entire region can use this, and we are so proud to have this in Danville and Boyle County.”
Before providing a demonstration on how the baby box works, Safe Haven Baby Box founder Monica Kelsey delivered a speech on why she created the Safe Haven Baby Box and its importance to the community. She shared that she founded thew box because she learned that she had been abandoned at a hospital as an infant.
“We are finding deceased and abandoned babies in trash cans and dumpsters every three days in America. That doesn’t happen in communities with baby boxes,” Kelsey said. “It is not a matter of if this box will be used, it is when. Just this year alone we have 15 newborns in boxes this year, and we are just in 13 states. We didn’t come to Danville and ask to put a box here, you came to us. That shows value in your community. You are standing up for life and being proactive.”
If a mother uses the box to surrender her child, they simply approach a hatch located on the outside of the station, open it and place the baby inside. There is a one-minute delay before firefighters inside the station are notified to allow the mother time to leave without being seen. Danville Fire Station 2 is located at 100 Fire Side Drive of the South Danville Bypass. Under Kentucky law, it is legal for mothers in crisis to surrender infants less than 30 days old at participating fire stations, police stations, or hospitals.