The infant rescue
box at the Chesterton fire station is now live and on line, following its
formal dedication on Friday, Nov. 16.
So Town Council
Member Jim Ton, R-1st, announced at the council’s meeting Monday night.
prompted members to vote unanimously to take this item of business off the
agenda going forward.
Stephanie Kuziela did report the receipt of three more donations to defray
the $40 monthly maintenance cost and the $200 annual upgrade fee (the
one-time purchase price of the device itself: $10,000):
* Marissa Taylor,
* Richard and Ann
* Dunbar Family
Charitable Foundation, $2,000.
received to date: $9,820. “These donations will go a long way to sustaining
the box,” Ton said, then added that--even though the council has removed the
infant rescue box from the agenda--continued “sustaining funds” will still
be needed for the maintenance of the device.
Anyone wishing to
make a donation may contact Ton at firstname.lastname@example.org or Fire Chief John
Jarka at 926-7162.
attending the Nov. 16 ceremony was Monica Kelsey, founder and CEO of Safe
Haven Baby Boxes, who--in officially activating the device--said the box was
a “no-shame, no-blame, no-name” way of ensuring that a new-born child
receives immediate care. Of the two infants left in the baby box at the
Coolspring Township Fire Department in LaPorte County, the first was
retrieved in four minutes, 20 seconds; and the second, in 90 seconds. Under
state law, a woman in Indiana has up to 30 days to retrieve her child.
The infant rescue
box works much like a depository at a bank: once it has been opened and then
closed, it cannot be re-opened until the CFD has re-set it from inside.
Boxes come equipped with three different alarms: the first is activated
automatically when the box is opened; the second, when a baby is placed on
the pad (which is either heated or cooled depending on the season); and the
third time, when--if--the person leaving the baby elects to activate it.
State law permits
the installation of a baby box at any fire station manned 24/7/365.
expressed interest in the installation of an infant rescue device after
afterbirth was found late last year in a chemical toilet on the Prairie
Duneland Trail, the day after an infant was left in the baby box at the
Coolspring Township fire station. Under the state’s Safe Haven law, persons
who wish to abandon infants may do so in such devices without legal
consequences so long as the infant is unharmed and healthy.
In other business,
Park Superintendent Bruce Mathias reported that Saturday’s Twilight
Christmas Parade in the Downtown “went really well.”
Hollywood,” he added, a reference to a film with which the Chesterton
Tribune reporter is unfamiliar but apparently features a cool parade
scene and has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 69 percent.
Jarka reported that
the parade came very close to looping itself, with Santa just stepping off
from Chesterton Middle School when the head of the parade turned at West
Porter Ave. and South Fifth Street.
DeLaney, R-5th, noted that the Twilight Christmas Parade--the Duneland
Chamber of Commerce’s baby--is beginning to “garner national attention,” and
that Chamber President Maura Durham was “actually turning quite a few”
parade march applicants away.
“The park also
looked good, Bruce,” Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg said.