Chesterton Tribune



CFD infant rescue device is now live

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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.

Ton’s announcement prompted members to vote unanimously to take this item of business off the agenda going forward.

Clerk-Treasurer 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, $150.

* Richard and Ann Schuster, $200.

* Dunbar Family Charitable Foundation, $2,000.

Total donations 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 or Fire Chief John Jarka at 926-7162.

Among those 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.

Ton initially 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.

Twilight Christmas Parade

In other business, Park Superintendent Bruce Mathias reported that Saturday’s Twilight Christmas Parade in the Downtown “went really well.”

“Like Doc 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.

Member Emerson 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.



Posted 11/27/2018




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