WACO, Texas (KWTX) For the first time in city history, a newborn baby has been dropped off at a Waco fire station, surrendered under The Safe Haven law, also known as the Baby Moses law.
The baby girl is "doing great" according to a CPS spokesperson, and she has already been placed in a foster home.
"It was surreal," Waco Battalion Chief Chris Ballew told KWTX. "We have had those signs on our station for years but no one ever thought we'd have a newborn dropped off at the station."
The three-day-old girl was left at Station 11 on Imperial Drive in Waco on Tuesday around 6:30 p.m.
Ballew says the mom told the firefighters she did not know she was pregnant until she delivered the girl at home on Saturday night.
The baby appeared to be healthy, but the mom told firefighters she didn't think she could properly care for the newborn.
"She had done some research on the Moses Law and knew that she could bring the baby to us," Ballew said.
Ballew was not at the station when the mom first showed up, but arrived shortly after getting the call.
He said by the time he got there, a young firefighter was already caring for the baby, waiting on police and other first responders to arrive.
"When I got there one of the firefighters was feeding her a bottle. She brought a bag with a canister of formula and some diapers and he had already started to feed her," Ballew said.
The baby was taken by East Texas Medical Center in an ambulance to Hillcrest Hospital where she was undergoing an assessment.
"There were seven fireman there that wanted to take her home," Ballew said. "The mom did the right thing in bringing her to a safe place and getting her the care she needs."
"I can't imagine how hard it was for her to make that decision."
The Baby Moses law gives parents who are unable to care for their child a safe place to leave newborns, including a hospital, fire station free-standing emergency centers or emergency medical services station anonymously, without fear of prosecution.
"I can tell ya for all of us here at the fire station, it's just an awesome feeling to know that we're able to help like that," said Waco Fire Lieutenant Kerry Gross.
"We hope that every mother that's out there that ever runs into this situation knows they're more than welcome to come here, or for that matter any other fire station or police station or hospital, and get this help, and we want them to know we're there for 'em."
Fire officials say they aren't aware of any baby being dropped off at any station in the city before, but said this is what they're there for.
"It means a lot to us that we're able to help a baby out at this age, that's what we do, we love helping people, we love helping things and we know now we've given this baby its first chance to have a better life," said Gross.
Fire officials said Waco police came and took statements from the crew.
The mother's identity is protected, but fire officials did say she and the baby appeared to be Caucasian.
It's unknown where they were from.
The baby will end up in the custody of Child Protective Services, be given a foster family, and eventually adopted unless the mother calls police and asks for the baby back.
She has 60 days to do so under state law.