Troy fire station to install safe haven ‘baby box’ that allows people to safely surrender babies

TROY — Parents struggling to care for their newborns soon could have a chance to give them a better life — no questions asked.

Under Ohio’s Safe Haven Law birth parents who feel they can’t raise a child can surrender their baby within the first 30 days of being born.

At the fire station located on East Canal Street in Troy, parents can do just that.

“It’s just now an official place where a mother can or father can drop that baby off and walk away knowing that baby will live and have an opportunity for a life that maybe they can’t provide,” Troy Fire Chief Matthew Simmons said.

Troy Firefighter Jason Holfinger advocated for the drop-off before he unexpectedly died in 2018.

“We made it a passion of ours to fulfill his dream to have a fire station with a baby box,” Simmons said.

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The process is safe, anonymous and the first of its kind in the Miami Valley.

The box opens to reveal a bed for the baby, similar to a hospital bed. Once the box is shut the child is surrendered and it cannot be opened from the outside.

An alarm will be sounded, alerting dispatch as well as an ambulance and children’s services.

The box is kept at 77 degrees year-round and can be used at any hour.

“There are options and good options that you can walk away. There’s no responsibility for you,” Simmons said.

The box will be ready for the public to use on Aug. 12.