Safe Haven – Rural Metro Fire in the Community

Rural Metro Fire (RMF) is proud to serve the most vulnerable members of our communities and our dedicated firefighters respond to every emergency. Now, RMF Station 30 in Knox Co., TN is the first in the Rural Metro Fire family to have a Safe Haven Baby Box to offer secure, legal surrender of newborns and infants for women who have recently given birth. Only the fourth Baby Box in Tennessee, these boxes are equipped to make surrender of infants completely anonymous for women in crisis.


Safe haven laws, which allow for the surrender of newborns, in some cases up to ’60-days-old, to designated personnel at locations such as hospitals, churches, fire stations and directly to EMS personnel. The intent of such laws is that by allowing for a secure means of surrender, children will not be abandoned and at risk of harm. In 2021 alone, according to the National Safe Haven Alliance, 31 newborns were abandoned in trash receptacles, duffle bags and in boxes on street corners – 22 of those infants did not survive their abandonment.


Newborns can be anonymously surrendered to fire fighters at ANY Rural Metro Fire Station in Tennessee, Oregon and Arizona. If the mother desires to use the Safe Haven Baby box, once an infant is placed in the box, station crews are immediately notified and will respond to the infant. The crews will provide a preliminary medical assessment of their tiny patient and transport them to a local hospital for any necessary treatment and placement with social services. For the mother who has surrendered the infant, crisis services are also available through Safe Haven Baby Boxes and crisis hotlines in most states.


While the decision to surrender an infant is difficult for the birth mother, Rural Metro Fire knows the need is present in the community. The first box installed in Tennessee received an infant just a short time after being put into service. Safe surrender of an infant ensures they will be well cared for until a permanent placement is found.


If you or someone you know is considering surrendering a newborn under safe haven laws, please remember:

  • All 50 states have safe haven laws. You can review the laws and safe surrender locations for your state here –
  • Rural Metro Fire Stations are able to accept a newborn surrender directly to on-duty personnel or to our new baby box in Knox Co., TN. Please, do NOT leave an infant outside of a station or any location that is considered a safe haven in your state.
  • You have the right to remain anonymous when surrendering your newborn.


If you are experiencing a crisis before or after surrendering your infant, help is available by calling –

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline – 800.799.SAFE (7233)
  • Safe Haven Baby Boxes Crisis Hotline –  1.866.99BABY
  • National Suicide Hotline – 988
  • 9-1-1