SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – The most selfless thing some mothers do when they can not care for their newborn is turn their newborn over to the Safe Surrender locations, including most fire departments.
When the babies arrived, some are prepared, but most are ill-equipped for the arrival of a newborn. This is why Loma Linda University Children’s Health will be donating supply kits to all full-time San Bernardino County Fire Departments. These kits include a blanket, newborn diapers, a onsie, and a beanie to properly care for the infants surrendered at the fire stations throughout the county.
“As a result of the amazing generosity of LLUCH, SBCoFD personnel will be fully equipped to maximize the possibility of a comfortable arrival of safely surrendered babies to hospitals where they can be monitored and cared for while they await their next steps towards a loving home,” San Bernardino County Fire Department officials said.
As most know, California enacted the Safe-Haven law in 2001, allowing parents to surrender their newborn within 72 hours of birth to a hospital and fire departments, as of 2004. This policy was developed to prevent newborn infants from being abandoned resulting in serious injury or death. The law specifies that the person with lawful physical custody, after surrendering the child, have 14 days to change their mind and reclaim the baby. To date, nearly a thousand newborns have been taken to a safe surrender site.
“Loma Linda University Children’s Health generous donation has helped ensure that the Safe Surrender program remains a tremendous resource for the citizens of San Bernardino County,” said Interim Fire Chief Don Trapp. “Ensuring the safety and security of these babies and their mothers is one of the many ways the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District remains committed to integrity, compassion, professionalism and service. The Safe Surrender program remains a viable and loving option – no questions asked, regardless of your circumstances.”
On January 28, 2019, at around 8:40 p.m. a young mother turned over her newborn twins to Hesperia firefighters. Fire stations that are not staffed full-time are not considered a Safe-Surrender site; however, these stations have a phone located outside the station that will connect directly to the dispatch center. Safe-Surrender signs are displayed at all surrender locations.
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