The “Baby Box” at the Plymouth Fire Department is fully functional according to Chief Steve Holm.
During Monday’s Board of Public Works and Safety meeting, Holm said the Baby Box was installed and the test of the equipment was completed that day. He said, “The detections went out to those who are supposed to get the alarm and they notified the department that something had been placed in the box.” The box sits on the southwest side of the Plymouth Fire Department building in the alley.
Chief Holm said they will be conducting training for the rest of the Fire Department and EMS staff, volunteers as well as the police department so everyone will be familiar with it.
The chief thanked Chuy Garcia, a full-time fireman with the department who did the masonry work along with Tim Sullivan a union brick-layer from Plymouth on the installation and also Brooke and John Large from Make Your Move Home Creations who donated the materials and a worker to assist with the installation.
The Baby Box is a safety device provided for under the state’s Safe Haven Law and legally permits a mother in crisis to surrender their baby safely, securely, and anonymously if they are unable to care for it. A Baby Box is installed in an exterior wall of a designated fire station or hospital. It has an exterior door that automatically locks upon placement of a newborn inside the Baby Box, and an interior door which allows a medical staff member to secure the surrendered newborn from inside the designated building.
The baby boxes are heated and cooled and alarm activated. The average time for a baby to be in the box is about two minutes.
The upfront cost was $10,000 and there is a $200 annual re-certification fee. Promotions of the City Coordinator, Laura Mann was able to gather donations to cover the cost, so no tax dollars were used to purchase or install the device.