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Okolona Fire Station #1 Receives State’s First Safe Haven Baby Box

Safe Haven Baby Box installed at Okolona Fire Station #1
Safe Haven Baby Box installed at Okolona Fire Station #1

Okolona Fire Station #1 is home to Kentucky's first Safe Haven Baby Box. The baby box comes after House Bill 155 became law earlier this week. The bill allows parents to surrender infants younger than 30 days without fear of prosecution or allegations of neglect.

Louisville teen Isabella Lamkin petitioned to get the bill passed. Lamkin’s parents surrendered her when she was just days old. 

Following the passage of the bill, Lamkin worked with the Zonta Club of Louisville to pay for the Safe Haven Box. Lamkin hopes that the safe haven law and installation of baby boxes will help make anonymous infant surrenders significantly safer. 

Kentucky is the sixth state to allow for the installation of a Safe Haven Baby Box. Indiana has the most operational Safe Haven Baby Boxes of any state.

“I don’t care if it takes 10 years, if I have to continue to put these boxes in to keep babies safe that’s what I’ll do,” said Monica Kelsey, Safe Haven Baby Box Founder and CEO.

Much like Lamkin, Kelsey was surrendered by her mother when she was an infant. 

Kelsey says while she hopes infant abandonment will someday no longer be an issue, Safe Haven Baby Boxes can serve as a last resort and  keep infants safe and healthy.

Other fire departments in the state are considered installing baby boxes at their stations.

The Safe Haven Baby Box at Okolona Fire Station #1, located on Preston Highway, is now operational. 

Breya Jones is the Arts & Culture Reporter for LPM. Email Breya at bjones@lpm.org.