"I can see there's something in the box and thought, oh boy, I'm thinking somebody put a raccoon or a cat or a dog or something in there". That's not what he found. "I just wanted to pick the baby up and start holding it".
According to Safe Haven Baby Boxes INC, the time it took between the baby being dropped off and first responders taking it into their care was less than five minutes. "This just happens to be a story that turned out really well".
"When this box was installed, we hoped that it would never be used, yet we're thankful that it exists for cases just like the one Tuesday night", said Pawlik.
While there is a push to get Safe Haven boxes nationwide by 2020, they need to be approved state by state. The second box is at the fire department in Woodburn; no other locations are listed on the website.
OH parents are not asked any questions if they choose to drop an infant off at a hospital police station or fire station.
"This is the last resort, when the mother can not make face-to-face contact", he said.
No cameras surround the baby box at Coolspring Township Volunteer Fire Department.
"It makes me feel like it's part of something special and it is something special". The chief and assistant chief said they are willing to adopt the baby. "Calmer than I was, I know that". "It was just a great decision", he said.
Officials said the baby was taken by ambulance to Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Michigan City.
Chief Pawlik rode with the child to the hospital in the ambulance.
"The infant is in good condition".
The sheriff's office and the Indiana Department of Children and Family Services were both notified.
IN has a safe haven law that allows for a newborn infant to be given up without fear of arrest of prosecution.
As long as there are no signs of intentional abuse on the baby, no information is required of the person leaving the baby.
"I open the door and the babies head was right here", he recalled. An interior door to the box is located in his office inside the fire station.
A fire chief in Northwest Indiana says a baby is alive and healthy Wednesday because someone did the right thing and put the baby in a controversial "baby box" installed on the wall of a fire station. It was bloodied. But the baby was calm.
"It's very rewarding", he said.
Amy Lavalley is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.
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