A baby boy was left inside Tennessee’s first Safe Haven Baby Box early Saturday morning, approximately 30 minutes after his birth, according to the Knoxville Fire Department. 

The incident is the first time the Baby Box has been used since it was installed in February at the Knoxville Fire Department (KFD) Station 17, ABC6 WATE reported. Three crew members discovered the baby shortly after the box alarm was set off. The firefighters quickly called an ambulance, which took the baby to a nearby hospital.

KFD Assistant Chief Mark Wilbanks said the department is grateful to be able to help children and parents in crisis.

“The whole purpose of this box is to be a resource for our community, that a mother or a parent that is in crisis and doesn’t know what to do with a child, has a place to go,” Wilbanks said.

“It may sound a little bit hard to say, but we don’t want them putting the child in the dumpster, we would much rather them place the child in this box where it’s safe and has an opportunity,” Wilbanks added “So this is simply that, this is a resource for the community and it makes us feel great to know that it did some good within three months of installing it.”

Wilbanks noted that the Baby Box contains a bag inside with information about resources that the parent can take with them, according to the report. The Baby Box also allows parents to surrender their babies confidentially. 

“When they close the door, it takes just a minute for the station to be alerted, that’s the anonymity part of the box itself, it does not immediately alert us to the fact that there’s a baby in the box, and that gives the person time to leave the fire station without us knowing who they were,” Wilbanks said.

The Baby Box is reportedly “weight sensitive and has a magnetic automatic lock that activates when something is placed inside.” Wilbanks said that once a baby is placed inside, the box heats to 85 degrees, and within a few minutes, the station is alerted.

Several fire departments across the start are considering installing a Baby Box, and one is planned for Knox County, Wilbanks said.

Both existing and future boxes are fully funded by the Craig Foundation, not Knoxville residents, according to the report.