INDIANAPOLIS — A baby boy was one of two babies that were surrendered within days to Safe Haven Baby Boxes in Indiana.
Carmel firefighters regularly test the alarm for their baby drop-off box. But when that alarm went off Tuesday morning, they quickly realized it wasn't a drill.
After dedicating its Safe Haven Baby Box around three years ago, Carmel Fire Department Station #45 welcomed its first baby.
"We were sitting in the station like every other day when the baby box alarm went off ... We went back there to see what was going on and lo and behold there was a baby sitting inside the baby box wrapped in towels," said firefighter Victor Andres.
The healthy baby boy was received with open arms and firefighter John Moriarty said this is a time for celebration because the system worked.
"I was so excited when I saw them come out of the room with the baby. They loaded the baby into the ambulance. I got into my car, and we went to the hospital," said Moriarty.
After the baby was delivered safely to the hospital, the Carmel fire crew celebrated the unforgettable moment with a birthday cake for the baby boy and wished him many, many more.
"Our hope is that this baby boy will find a forever loving home the same way and find their forever family as well," said Fire Chief David Haboush.
Wednesday, Safe Haven Baby Box founder Monica Kelsey said the baby boy and another baby were dropped off within five days of each other — the 16th and 17th surrenders since the first box was installed in April 2016. The other was another healthy baby at Franciscan Health Hammond in northwestern Indiana.
Kelsey was abandoned when she was an infant. Now she wants women to know there are safe options for them and their babies.
"We honor you today. What you have done is selfless, honorable, and courageous and you should be so proud of yourself," said Kelsey.
The boxes offer a way for new mothers to safely and anonymously drop off newborn babies they are unable or unwilling to care for.
There are 105 Safe Haven Baby Boxes in seven states. By the end of the month, they will be expanding to their eighth state. Click here to see all the locations.