ROGERS, Ark. — There is now a place in Northwest Arkansas for mothers in crisis to surrender their babies.
At Roger’s Fire Station #5 is the newly installed Safe Haven Baby Box where mothers in crisis can surrender their infant in the box anonymously.
This is the second one in Arkansas with the first being in Benton.
“If a woman is in that type of crisis, we would never understand what they are going through, but of all the choices they can make…A, keeps them out of trouble. B, provides a safe environment for their child, which you hope they would care about,” Deputy Chief Cliff Thompson said.
Thompson says once the Baby Box door is opened it triggers a silent alarm and then another alarm is triggered when a baby is placed in the box. From the inside of the station, they are able to take the baby out and give the baby any medical attention they may need.
“There are cases where these babies are surrendered when they still have umbilical cords attached and things like that," Thompson said. "We are trained to do that. We would do that assessment, provide the immediate care needed and that baby will be transported to an appropriate hospital."
It cost $10,000 to be able to get a Safe Haven Baby Box and Thompson says raising the money has been a community effort.
Goldfish Swim School in Rogers raised more than $5,000 for the cause and owner Mark Fleming says anything they can do to help kids is a blessing.
“Our passion is to teach kids 4 months to 12 years old to be safer in and around the water, so we know that helps save lives year-round and you know if we can help a baby that doesn’t have a chance and someone will put the baby in the box we feel that would really help the community out,” he said.
The plan is for Rogers Fire to continue to raise money to get another Baby Box to put at another fire station. The official dedication of the Baby Box will be this Friday (March 12) at 11 a.m. at Roger’s Fire Station #5.