Kansas City fire stations to have Safe Haven signs, after all

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - After several years of discussion, the Kansas City Fire Department has agreed to post Safe Haven signs clearly stating their stations are safe havens for abandoned newborns.

Fire Chief Paul Berardi and the city council agreed on wording for the signs, specifically designed to address concerns of the department.

While it is state law that fire stations -- along with hospitals and police stations -- are a place where a new mother can safely leave her newborn if she doesn't want the baby, there have never been signs posted.

The concern was the mother would leave the baby at an unattended station while the crew was on a call.

The new wording reads: "Child must be handed to an on-duty emergency worker. Do not leave child unattended."

According to members of the KC Coalition for Safe Havens for Newborns, the Chief said there are 35 fixed facilities. Those signs are already being made and will reportedly be ready to deliver to the fire department by March 15.

The coalition was formed after an infant was found in a refrigerator in an Overland Park basement in 2009.

The Safe Haven Coalition is a metro-wide, bi-state collaboration of fire departments, hospitals, advocates, law enforcement, Mother & Child Health Coalition and United Way of Greater KC.

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