Safe Baby Haven: Distraught mother drops off 2 children at Phoenix fire station
PHOENIX - Crews at Phoenix Fire Station 22 responded to an unusual emergency when a young mother showed up on their doorstep this week.
"When I approached her and asked how we can assist her, she said she was here to hand over her children," said Elliot Simmons.
Simmons had met the woman before. He was one of the firefighters who responded to her home last year when another one of her children, a baby, suddenly passed away.
"She definitely suffered immensely because of the loss of that child," he said. "That's why she stated to me that she brought her kids down and she had to leave them with us. She made it very clear she can no longer mentally care for these children."
The Safe Baby Haven law allows people to drop off unwanted newborns, but this was a different situation. The firefighters came up with a rescue plan.
"No judgment, no, nothing like that. We don't try to get into people's business or justification for what's going on," said Ben Lindquist.
They made some phone calls, and brought in the resources to find a safe home for the children and a place to care for the mother.
"She struck me as somebody like you and me. She wasn't in any crazy circumstance. She just had some hard times and was dealing with some things and wanted what was best for her kids," explained Lindquist. "It's not a crime. They're not going to be dealt with by police or put in jail. They're going to get the help that they need."
Fire officials say the mother is now getting the treatment she needs and with the help of the Arizona Department of Child Safety, the children were placed with family members. They encourage parents who cannot care for their children to reach out for help.