The San Bernardino County Fire Protection District (SBCoFD) and Loma Linda University Children’s Health (LLUCH) have teamed up to ensure that all full-time SBCoFD stations are equipped with clothing and supply kits to properly care for infants surrendered at fire stations throughout San Bernardino County. The supply kits include a onesie, a beanie, a blanket, and newborn diapers. As a result of the amazing generosity of LLUCH, SBCoFD personnel will be fully equipped to maximize the possibility of a comfortable arrival of safely surrendered babies to hospitals where they can be monitored and cared for while they await their next steps towards a loving home.
“Loma Linda University Children’s Health generous donation has helped ensure that the Safe Surrender program remains a tremendous resource for the citizens of San Bernardino County,” said Interim Fire Chief Don Trapp. “Ensuring the safety and security of these babies and their mothers is one of the many ways the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District remains committed to integrity, compassion, professionalism and service. The Safe Surrender program remains a viable and loving option – no questions asked, regardless of your circumstances.”
Pursuant to Health & Safety Code 1255.7 and California Penal Code 271.5, also known as the “Safe-Haven Law”, state law provides immunity for mothers or persons in lawful custody of newborn infants less than seventy-two (72) hours who surrender these infants to a designated “safe-surrender site” from criminal prosecution. This policy was developed to prevent newborn infants from being abandoned resulting in serious injury or death. The law specifies that the person with lawful physical custody, after surrendering the child, have 14 days to change their mind and reclaim the baby.
On August 24, 2004, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution designating San Bernardino County fire stations as Safe Haven sites. Since this time, San Bernardino County Fire Protection District fire stations are equipped as Safe-Surrender sites. Fire stations that are not staffed full-time are not considered a Safe-Surrender site; however, these stations have a phone located outside the station that will connect directly to the dispatch center. Safe-Surrender signs are displayed at all surrender locations.