Press release from Humboldt Bay Fire:
On Thursday, November 19, 2020 at about 11:00 a.m., a newborn infant was safely surrendered to Humboldt Bay Fire Station 1 in accordance with our Safely Surrendered Baby Program.
Receiving Humboldt Bay Fire personnel performed an initial medical assessment and found the infant in good health. They additionally performed basic cleaning and comfort measures, made necessary notifications, and awaited transport to the hospital for further medical examinations.
The Safely Surrendered Baby Program policy was established in 2013 by Battalion Chief Chris Jelinek who now works for Manteca Fire Department in the Central Valley of California. Despite the over 155-year history of the department in this community, as well as the nearly 8-year-old program, this is the first time in our history that a baby has been surrendered to Humboldt Bay Fire.
All Humboldt Bay Fire Stations are designed as drop-off sites for “safely surrendered babies.” The California Safely Surrendered Baby Law allows a parent or other individual having lawful custody of a child 72 hours or younger to voluntarily surrender physical custody of the child to any firefighter on duty at any of our stations. This may be done discretely without fear of judgement or prosecution for child abandonment.
We are thankful to have had a prepared, caring, and empathetic staff, and we are grateful to be seen as a trustworthy place to turn during such a difficult time.
The hearts, thoughts, and well-wishes of the entire Humboldt Bay Fire family are and will continue to be with the infant and her parent.