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Newborn baby turned over at Phoenix fire station under safe haven law

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PHOENIX – A healthy baby was turned over at Phoenix fire station Monday morning for protection under Arizona’s safe haven law, authorities said.

A woman who said she was a friend of the infant’s mother brought the newborn to Fire Station 25 near 63rd Avenue and Indian School Road around 9:30 a.m., according to an email from Capt. Jake Van Hook of the Phoenix Fire Department.

The woman said the mother felt she wasn’t able to care for the baby.

Firefighters transported the infant, who wasn’t harmed, to Phoenix Children’s Hospital for evaluation.

According to the Arizona Safe Baby Foundation website, 38 newborn lives have been saved under the state’s safe haven law. It was unclear if that total included the baby turned in Monday.

Under the 2001 law, a parent can anonymously surrender an unharmed baby up to 72 hours old to a designated safe haven facility, with no questions asked and no repercussions.

“You are not required to give any information to the safe haven provider,” Phoenix Fire Capt. Kenny Overton told KTAR News 92.3 FM in January.

Fire stations, hospitals and churches are among the facilities that take part in the program. A qualified worker must be on duty for the baby to be accepted.

“This includes a firefighter who’s on duty, an EMT who’s on duty, staff member at health care institutions or a staff member at any child welfare agency or adoption agency,” Overton said.

Van Hook said all 58 of Phoenix’s fire stations are safe havens for newborns.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.

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