Fire station a safe haven for a newborn

OCEANSIDE — Fire Station No. 5 proved a safe haven for a newborn surrender the morning of Nov. 13. Fire Engineer Rick Varey answered the call bell at 9 a.m. to find a 20-year-old woman at the fire station door holding her newborn infant who was still covered in blood. The woman stated that she wanted to surrender her baby.
Fire Capt. Phil Cotton and firefighter paramedic Rich Molina quickly attended to the baby, to ensure he was warm and breathing regularly.
Mucus was still present from the birth and needed to be suctioned from the baby’s airway.
The mother of the baby refused any medical assistance for herself and did not wish to give her name or information on family medical history.
“Within a matter of seconds after handing Capt. Cotton her child she left the station, climbed back into her car and drove away,” Battalion Chief Rob Dunham said.
“Although being a little cold, the infant looked to be healthy and in good shape,” Dunham said.
“The infant was transported by Oceanside Fire Department paramedic ambulance to Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside for evaluation where he will remain until County Child Protective Services takes custody,” he said.
Since 2007 all San Diego fire stations that are staffed full time have been designated as Safe Haven Sites for the safe surrender of a newborn infant within 72 hours of birth. The Safely Surrendered Baby Law is intended to spare the life of an infant who might otherwise be abandoned in an unsafe location.

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