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Paramedic: Signs Could Save Newborns

Posted July 12, 2007

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— To save the lives of abandoned infants, information about the state's Safe Surrender Law will be provided to North Carolina high school students, starting next year.

But a Nash County paramedic said he hopes signs that he has designed will also help spread the word about how to abandon newborns safely.

Cleveland Hunt said he was inspired after a 2-day-old boy was found dead in a trash bin behind a Rocky Mount supermarket in February. It was one of two abandoned newborns whose bodies were found in a two-day span.

"That is somebody's child. That is somebody's grandchild," Hunt said. "I feel like if this mother was aware she had a place to go to surrender the child, then maybe the child could be saved."

The Safe Surrender Law allows mothers to leave infants up to 7 days old with a responsible adult – preferably at a hospital or police or fire station – without fear of punishment. Between 2001 and 2005, at lease five women statewide took advantage of the law, officials said.

Hunt designed a sign to post at fire and paramedic stations across Nash County to let people know the stations are safe havens.

"It's our responsibility as EMS personnel and firefighters to teach the public," he said.

He also is trying to raise about $1,500 to pay for the signs.

"I think it's a great thing. The more people we can get involved in getting the word out to everyone, the more people will be aware of this," said Sheila Jefferys, adoption supervisor for Nash County Social Services.

13 Comments

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  • itsme2002 Jul 13, 2007

    Glad to see they are trying to get the word out about this law. Even though its been around for a while. I think they should include it in their sex Education curriculum in High School.

  • 3potato4 Jul 13, 2007

    Birth control methods have been around even longer. Lots of folks still don't seem to know about them.

  • ncmom65 Jul 13, 2007

    These signs should be posted at all Safe Haven locations across the state....EMS stations, hospitals, police stations.....and the signs should be fully funded.
    What a great idea!!!

  • Run_Forrest_Run Jul 13, 2007

    Go Cleveland. He's a great guy folks! Big heart! It will be well worth the effort if only one 'biological egg donor' doesn't leave her baby to die. (I didn't call her mother on purpose)

  • lovecarolinagutters Jul 13, 2007

    What a nice thing for this guy to do. To care enough to take the time to design something like this. We need more people like him

  • bus driver Jul 13, 2007

    Cricket...how many laws did you know and/or pay attention to in high school or middle school? I know it is our responsibity as citizens to know the law, but I figure that there are still some laws that we, as people in general, do not know about.

    Kudos for this idea.

  • busybody63 Jul 13, 2007

    Excellant idea.

    Yes, if there is an address for donations, please share it.

    The State should provide funds for the signs.

    They should be not only in high schools,but middle schools and colleges as well.

    PSA should be done free through all media.

  • MAX Jul 13, 2007

    Good idea. WRAL keep us informed. Its also a good idea to post the signs in schools. Does Mr. Hunt want donations? If so give us an address

  • 1Moms_View Jul 12, 2007

    Kudos to him for a good idea to try and help these infants.

  • Angry Grrl Jul 12, 2007

    Excellent idea; I'd also like to hear PSAs on the radio as sadly, not everyone can read.

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