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STRATHMORE, Alberta (LifeSiteNews) – A Canadian fire department has installed a “safe box” for women in crisis who want to surrender their newborn children.  

A community fire station in Strathmore, Alberta, a small town about 50 kilometers east of Calgary, is believed to be the first in Canada to implement a safe surrender box to enable mothers to anonymously and safely drop off the newborns they feel they cannot adequately care for.  

“We’re really excited to be able to offer this service to our community and the surrounding communities as well,” said the man behind the initiative, Shift Captain Eric Alexander. “It’s pretty special to be the first one in Canada.” 

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the box is fashioned inside the wall of the fire station and has a heavy door allowing access to the public. “When opened, the door gives access to an enclosed, heated bassinet for the baby. When the door closes, it locks, and a silent alarm goes off to alert fire department staff.” 

As reported by the CBC, the initiative, called Hope’s Cradle, was first started by Alexander after a newborn baby was found dead in a dumpster in Calgary on Christmas Eve, 2017. Since Alexander was a new father at the time, the story “stuck in his mind,” and he partnered with an organization called “Gems for Gems,” which was working on a similar project at the time.  

“For this first one, we’ve partnered with Strathmore, but we want to partner with several all across Alberta and all across Canada,” said Jordan Guildford, CEO and founder of Gems for Gems, a charity that aims to end domestic abuse. 

Assuring the protection of women who use the service, Alexander added, “We want to ensure that expectant mothers know that their anonymity will be protected and will not be released under any circumstances, as long as the child is surrendered without signs of neglect or abuse.” 

While being the first of its kind at a fire station, two hospitals in Edmonton, Alberta also have similar services called Angel Cradles, where mothers can relinquish their children in a safe and anonymous manner.  

According to Alexander, he hopes his effort will inspire other fire stations across the country to implement similar options for their community, to protect newborn children and mothers in precarious or unsafe situations.