FORT SMITH, Ark. — A Safe Haven baby box has been installed at a Fort Smith fire station to help save the lives of infants in need.
"The more of them we have, I know a lot of people hope they don't get used, but if there is somebody in need, doesn't want to do face to face surrender, it's a good option. And the company also offers counseling, they work with families, and they do great work," said Darrell Clark, Batallion Chief for Fort Smith Fire Department, Station 11.
Clark says this has been a months-long process that began after a citizen contacted the department about installing a Safe Haven box. The box was approved in July, and it's now being installed.
The alarm system was installed Wednesday, Sept. 15, but firefighters still need to train with hospital staff to ensure that they know the right steps to take if a baby is surrendered.
The Safe Haven boxes are climate controlled and have a Lexan cover with holes to allow air to circulate.
The station will receive a notification if a baby is surrendered in the box. If firefighters are out on a call, a silent alarm will notify dispatch, contacting the closest first responders.
This is currently the only Safe Haven baby box in Fort Smith, but city leaders plan to add more. Other stations are currently limited by the size and age of the buildings.
The Safe Haven box was built using money from donations, and no public funds were used.