Newborn, 3 Hours Old, Dropped Off at Fla. Station

PAHOKEE, Fla.

-- A newborn is getting a second shot at life, and he's not even 24 hours old.

Palm Beach County Fire Rescue said the mother, 21, dropped the boy off Monday night at Pahokee Fire Station #72. The woman told firefighters she delivered the boy at her home, cut the umbilical cord herself and then brought the baby to the station.

"The baby was three hours old," said Lt. Keith Reed. "This was actually the first time for anybody at this fire station to utilize the project, Safe Place."

Under Florida's Safe Haven law, parents can drop off children less than seven days old at a hospital, fire station, or any emergency center that is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The parents won't be prosecuted.

Firefighters at Station 72 said the mother was very distraught, but they offered her encouragement.

"We commended her repeatedly about what a good thing it is that she was able to realize this and then actually act on it and do something good for this baby," said Reed.

The mother was offered counseling.

The baby boy is in the hospital. When he's released, he will be turned over to a private adoption agency.

Since 2000, when the Safe Haven law went into effect, 148 babies statewide have been dropped off. Ten of those babies were left at Palm Beach County hospitals and fire stations.

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