In a Thursday news release, Ocala Fire Rescue announced the "arrival of the department's first surrendered newborn."
In December 2020, the fire department became the first in the state of Florida to unveil a Safe Haven Baby Box (SHBB), a program that allows a mother in crisis to "safely, securely, and anonymously surrender a newborn who cannot be cared for," according to the announcement.
"Ocala's SHBB has been in service for two years and is still the only operational device of its kind in the state," the department added.
In a press conference that same day, SHBB founder Monica Kelsey applauded the parent who surrendered the baby, reports People.
"We know this baby will be so loved by an adoptive family, and we are so thrilled to be a part of protecting infants from abandonment," she said.
According to the SHBB website, Kelsey founded the project after learning she was abandoned as an infant.
Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn also spoke at the conference, predicting a "bright future" for the "miracle baby."
"I'm so happy to hear of this miracle baby," Guinn said. "I knew when we did this in 2020, this day would come. We all did. We just didn't know when. We're glad it was there as a resource for the mother of this child. I'm sure there will be a bright future ahead for this precious child."
Ocala Fire Rescue's Baby Box — one of only 134 boxes across the United States — was installed at the department's headquarters in 2020, according to WFLA.
The boxes have a side that opens to the outside of the building, allowing parents to place their infant in a temperature-controlled container that alerts firefighters to the baby's presence 60 seconds after they're placed inside.
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