Big Bear City, Ca, October 19, 2010, 12:00pm – In 2001 the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution that designates fire stations in San Bernardino County as Safe Surrender sites. A safe surrender site allows a mother or person with lawful custody to bring an unwanted baby seventy-two hours or younger to the site without prosecution for child abandonment. Big Bear Valley fire agencies have never experienced a mother surrendering a newborn until recently. Local fire agencies are taking action to reinforce the message that all staffed fire stations are designated as “Safe Havens.” On October 18, 2010, the Big Bear City Community Services District adopted Resolution No. 963 designating Big Bear City Fire Department stations as “safe havens” for the surrender of newborns. The Big Bear Lake Fire Department will go before City Council on October 25th to become a safe surrender site. At this time each of the Big Bear City fire stations will have kits that include an ankle bracelet for the infant, and a confidential questionnaire for the mother/family that is surrendering the child. All fire department employees will be fully trained, and prepared for a newborn surrender. Signs will be posted at each of the fire stations that are staffed and are able to accept the newborns. Any mother needing help is encouraged to call 1-888-628-3353. This is the number to Project Cuddle, and will provide the mother with information on where to get medical treatment and supportive services. Mothers have 14 days from the date of drop off to change their mind.
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