First Safe Haven Baby Box in state opens at Madison Fire Station
MADISON – Madison city officials cut the ribbon on the brand-new Safe Haven Baby Box on Wednesday, Jan. 10 at Madison Fire Station 1. The Alabama legislature passed a bill last summer laying the foundation for Safe Haven Baby Boxes to reach cities across the state, and Madison led the charge on the initiative with the first baby box in Alabama.
“We are honored that the first Safe Haven Baby Box to be installed in the state of Alabama is happening right here in the city of Madison,” Lee Marshall, founder and CEO of Kids to Love that has partnered with Madison Fire and Rescue on the project said.
“What this box behind me does is give another option for success in life,” Mayor Paul Finley said of the initiative at the ribbon cutting. “The best thing we can do in our community is give options for improved quality of life.”
Over one hundred Safe Haven Baby Boxes are located across the country as a safe and anonymous alternative for parents to surrender their babies. Madison’s baby box is the 192nd box nationwide. It works when a parent leaves their baby in a secure box at a local fire station. When the box is opened and the infant placed inside, a silent alarm is triggered, discreetly notifying first responders inside the building. First responders then perform a preliminary medical evaluation on the child and in the case of Madison’s box, will then take the child to Madison Hospital for further medical attention.
“The modern fire service focuses on helping citizens in the most important ways. Our community risk reduction efforts are designed to impact our citizens who are in the most need. Along with our partners, our members are now easily available to be part of the solution for mothers in crisis and for infants that need to be matched with a loving family,” explained Fire Chief David Bailey. “This is a great opportunity to expand our services to our citizens, and [we] can’t tell you how much we appreciate that.”
Madison’s box was made possible through the cooperation of the fire department and Kids to Love, which donated the funds for the box. The funds for the Madison box were generously donated to Kids to Love from the Pilot family in memory of their daughter, Nikki Pilot Carlisle, and by Bill Roark, co-founder of Torch Technologies. Nine other cities in Alabama are slated to have their own baby boxes in the near future including Prattville, Gadsden, Tuscaloosa, and Opelika.
Below are photos showing the outside and inside views of the Safe Haven Baby Box in Madison.