‘Baby Box’ project gains momentum

Published 4:32 pm Friday, February 17, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

GATESVILLE – The effort to place a Safe Haven Baby Box at the Gates County Rescue Squad / Station 80 building is gaining momentum.

Kyle Truman, Pastor of Hope Fellowship Church and one of the driving forces behind the Baby Box effort, said $11,000 of the $20,000 needed for this project has been raised to date.

“We are hoping to raise the remaining $9,000 by the end of March,” Truman stated.

To help to raise funds for the project, Hope Fellowship is hosting a spaghetti plate lunch and dinner on Friday, March 3.

Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Dinner will be served from 4-6:30 p.m. Plates are available either dine-in or take-out. Donations will be received for each plate.

Hope Fellowship is located at 76 Lewis Mill Road in Gatesville.

The Safe Haven Baby Box is a state-of-the-art device. It legally permits a mother in crisis to safely, securely, and anonymously surrender her unwanted newborn.

The Baby Box is a climate-controlled safety device provided under a state’s Safe Haven Law. The installation of the box occurs on the exterior wall of a firehouse, EMS agency, or hospital.

Testing occurs at every stage of the box installation, including design, development, and deployment. It features multiple alarms in the device which alert first responders that a baby has been surrendered. The box’s alarms are tested weekly to ensure there will be no failures. The staff at Gates County EMS will be trained on how the device operates.

When a baby is dropped off, the parent opens the exterior door to the Baby Box, which triggers a silent alarm, and sends a call to 911 Dispatch. The infant is placed in a medical bassinet that stays in the box at all times. A sensor located on the inside of the box triggers a second 911 Dispatch call. The exterior door automatically locks upon placement of a newborn.

Within five minutes, the infant will be rescued by first responders. An interior door allows a staff member to secure the surrendered newborn from inside the designated building. Evaluation of the infant begins immediately, including a medical examination at the hospital. After the child is given a clean bill of health at the hospital, the child will go into the custody of the local foster care system.


About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal