1. #1
    nsfirechap
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post Fire Stations and Abanded Babies

    I understand some states have passed legislation allowing fire stations, police station, hospitols, churches, etc. to be "safe havens" for people to drop off abanded babies. My state, Alaska is currently considering this. Do any of you have any experience with this?

  2. #2
    ladyfirefighter
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Florida passed that legislation not too long back. You can abandon a baby at any fire station with no questions asked.

    I am all for it, any baby left at a firehouse is one less tradgedy!

    ------------------
    Stay Safe...
    Rebecca Richardson FF/EMT
    Isles of Capri Fire Rescue
    South Florida



    [This message has been edited by ladyfirefighter (edited 02-20-2001).]

  3. #3
    gunnyv
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Michigan just put it in effect, our dept hasn't had one yet. You're supposed to try to get them to fill something out, but they don't have to. Hasn't happenned yet. Our stations aren't that nice, but they beat the dumpster.

  4. #4
    FireRebel
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I think this is a great idea....it is terrible that our society has had to come to this but we need only to think of the babies laying in a abandon trash heap....it is our duty to help, so I commend our legislators on this idea....God Bless the FFs that will have to actually have to deal with this..

  5. #5
    comwhite
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    The only question I would have on this policy is what about the volunteer stations that aren't manned 24hrs a day? Our station can go hours, and sometimes even a day with no one being around. I think there should have been some stipulations regarding just dumping a baby off at any firestation. I'm in Florida, where it's a no question asked policy, just bring the baby, drop it off and leave. There should have been a stipulation that you make sure that baby is not in danger before leaving it.

  6. #6
    Bob Snyder
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    >> The only question I would have on this policy is what about the volunteer stations that aren't manned 24hrs a day? Our station can go hours, and sometimes even a day with no one being around.

    That would be my first question...you could leave a baby at the back door to our station (or, even worse, our social quarters) and easily have it sit there for days (and die) without being found.

    My second & third questions would be..."why in the world would you want to pass this law?", and "who was the nitwit that thought it up?"

    If you're going to legally sanction child abandonment, at least require that the kid be left at a medical facility of some kind, where they can take care of it. Don't dump it on me. I don't have kids of my own, don't want kids of my own, and certainly don't want to be stuck dealing with somebody else's kids.

  7. #7
    dfwscotty
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We've had this law in Texas but I have never heard of a baby being used. They continue to be left in dumpsters. If they are not even going to leave them in Fire Stations why would they leave them at hospitals? The fear of retribution is greater than the mom wanting to save that child.

  8. #8
    Looper
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We've had a few left at hospitals in the Houston area. There is a stipulation in the law that child must left at a medical facility or turned over to EMS personnel -- not just dumped at the curb in front of the fire station.

    In Sweden, they've started using baby "drop boxes" at clinics. Its a drawer, similar to a drive through bank teller's, that some one can put a baby in and close. An alarm goes off inside the clinic, so that the staff knows a baby has been dropped off.

    [This message has been edited by Looper (edited 02-22-2001).]

  9. #9
    Fiyah
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Originally posted by Looper:
    We've had a few left at hospitals in the Houston area. There is a stipulation in the law that child must left at a medical facility or turned over to EMS personnel -- not just dumped at the curb in front of the fire station.

    The only thing wrong with this is they only advertise just leaving the baby at a fire station. They don't advertise about it being left with EMS personel or even it being a station with personel there. We've been lucky that no one has left a baby at a VFD station that was not manned.

  10. #10
    DFDRev
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Angry

    Originally posted by Bob Snyder:
    >> My second & third questions would be..."why in the world would you want to pass this law?", and "who was the nitwit that thought it up?"

    If you're going to legally sanction child abandonment, at least require that the kid be left at a medical facility of some kind, where they can take care of it. Don't dump it on me. I don't have kids of my own, don't want kids of my own, and certainly don't want to be stuck dealing with somebody else's kids.
    Bob,
    In some cities, child abandonment has been a problem for various reasons... drug abuse, scared teens giving birth, financial strain... like you, I don't agree that abandoning the child is right, however, I would rather the baby not be left in a dumpster.

    Laws like this were made so that the child would receive necessary care. If the mother felt she was going to get in trouble, that baby would not get that care.

    Yes, a hospital/clinic would be best, but fire and police stations are viewed by the community as "safe places".

    I am sorry that you feel that society is a burden to you, but saving lives is what firefighters do. You don't have to adopt the baby, just transport it to the hospital.

  11. #11
    F52 Westside
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    I agree with DFDRev, it is better than a dumpster. The Safe Delivery for Newborns Law in Michigan (went into effect 1/1/2001)states that the newborn is to be turned over to an ESP (Emergency Service Provider). It goes on to identify the ESP as a uniformed or otherwise identified employee of a fire department, hospital or police station that is inside the building and on duty. The ESP is to stay with the infant until temporary protective custody is transferred to the hospital. So the person who has assumed custody rides with the ambulance crew (or at the least follows the ambulance) to the hospital. The law is intended for the safety of the child. The parent has 28 days to petition to regain custody if they have a change of heart.

    ------------------
    Eddie C. - a.k.a - PTFD21
    ECarn21's Homefire Page
    Local 3008
    "Doin' it for lives n' property"

    [This message has been edited by F52 Westside (edited 02-22-2001).]

  12. #12
    Bob Snyder
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation

    >> In some cities, child abandonment has been a problem for various reasons... drug abuse, scared teens giving birth, financial strain...

    All of which are really unfortunate, and none of which are excuses to either start or go through with pregnancies resulting in children that cannot be responsibly cared for. I lived in a marginal neighborhood in Pittsburgh for a few years, and I watched all of these things unfold around me, growing more disgusted all the while.

    >> like you, I don't agree that abandoning the child is right, however, I would rather the baby not be left in a dumpster.

    I would rather the baby, if it cannot be responsibly cared for, never be here at all.

    >> Laws like this were made so that the child would receive necessary care. If the mother felt she was going to get in trouble, that baby would not get that care.

    But...if it's this easy to dump the problem on somebody else, then what's the incentive to prevent the problem. We're dealing with inherently irresponsible people here (they wouldn't be in this position if they weren't inherently irresponsible, since responsible people don't do this sort of thing), so we can't assume that their inherent sense of responsibility will keep it from happening again. You're treating symptoms, but you'll never get at the disease this way.

    >> Yes, a hospital/clinic would be best, but fire and police stations are viewed by the community as "safe places".

    I don't know about police stations in situations like this...

    >> I am sorry that you feel that society is a burden to you, but saving lives is what firefighters do. You don't have to adopt the baby, just transport it to the hospital.

    What I "feel" is that avoidable problems should be avoided. This is an avoidable problem. The technology exists to avoid it...Effective birth control is available on the market. I don't care if you've got to drive around neighborhoods throwing condoms on the pavement by the shovel-full, just get them out there. More broadly, educate, provide the preventive measures, and make the consequences real if people refuse to avail themselves of the solutions we put in front of them and take responsibility for themselves. I'd sooner see my tax money go to things like that than so many other projects that it funds now.

    We as a society have this ideology in our heads that somehow it's always better and more responsible to want or have children than not, and that we should never write policy that interferes with this activity. Our popular media promotes it, our tax system is structured for it, our education system, at least tacitly, promotes it too. Well, it isn't necessarily better or more responsible. Lots of people shouldn't have children, and we need to find them and make them understand that. Letting them abandon their mistakes "no questions asked" certainly isn't moving us in the direction of increased levels of responsibility in the general population. Setting a policy that tells people they can do anything "no questions asked" is a sure sign that you've resigned yourself to the idea that you're just going to have to tolerate the problem because it's too hard for you to solve. You'll save some kids now, and you'll have even more to save later, and even more to save after that...where does it stop???

    -----------------------------------

    DISCLAIMER

    This post, like all of my other posts, doesn't necessarily reflect the views of my fire company, my family, or anybody else but me. In this case, I know that it doesn't. That's the great thing about a free country.


    [This message has been edited by Bob Snyder (edited 02-22-2001).]

  13. #13
    comwhite
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Women give birth everyday to unwanted children, wrong or right, it happens. Yes, they have choices, but it's apparent that either that aren't mature enough, nor responsible enough to care for a baby. Would the child be better off never being born, I won't even begin to judge that. But, reality is it was born, and I do believe the law in principal is a good law. However, I think it needed a few stipulations attached to it, and much more publicity about the types of stations that were capable of adhering to it.

  14. #14
    pyroknight
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Angry

    Fortunately or unfortunately we live in a free society. If not, we could provide free hysterectomies to women who showed up at hospitals pregnant with no insurance and no way to pay, we could implant Norplant contraceptives into adolescent girls and not take them out until they turned 21, we could even appropriately punish those who get caught throwing newborns in the trash. This, however, is the USA. The bleeding hearts have dumbed down our schools and broken down our moral codes to the point that life has no worth, crime has no punishment, and unwanted babies are just an inconvenience. If the hospital is too far to walk, these teen baby factories will dispose of them wherever it's convenient. This is mainly an urban problem, most of the urban areas I know of have staffed fire stations with at least BLS training. Dropping babies off at fire stations is a less than perfect solution in our less than perfect world.

  15. #15
    iresq
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Our State, MD, is currently considering this legislation. It is believed that it will be knocked down. We have the same basic problem of no requirement that the baby actually be handed to someone.

    ------------------
    Negative, I am a meat popsicle.

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