Firefighter saves newborn left at fire station

The baby is in good condition at a local hospital, but 30 more minutes outside in the cold might have killed her

The Oregonian

YAKIMA, Wash. — Joanna Albrecht's overnight shift was over by 6 a.m., and she was tempted to skip her morning workout before going home. But she persevered and was about to turn on her music when she paused.

She thought she heard crying outside. The firefighter was curious that someone would be outside Station 92, on Tieton Drive, of the Yakima Fire Department with a baby that early. Especially by the private westside door that Captain Jeff Pfaff said fire crews are near only during their 4 p.m. aerobics.

"That is a strange time and place to change a diaper," thought Albrecht, who has worked for the department since 1992.

She opened the door and found a baby wrapped in towels inside a cardboard apple box. The newborn girl was crying and cold, her umbilical cord clamped with a bobby pin, according to a .

Albrecht looked for someone who might have left the baby but didn't find anyone. So she brought the baby girl inside and sounded an alarm to summon an ambulance and the Yakima Police Department.

The baby was likely left outside for at least an hour before Albrecht found her, and she needed to be taken to the hospital immediately.

While Albrecht waited for the ambulance, she and the crew at the fire station cleaned the baby up, checked her vital signs and wrapped her in dry warm towels.

According to the Yakima Fire Department, the baby is in good condition at a local hospital, but 30 more minutes outside in the cold might have killed her.

The Yakima Fire Department noted in a Facebook post that abandoning a baby on the fire station steps in the cold is an unnecessary risk because the fire department will accept unwanted infants inside.

The Yakima Fire Department Facebook's page promises updates on the baby girl.

Fire officials are looking for information about the mother of the child to check on her safety and to learn more about the newborn girl.

"Our concern now is not only newborns' health and safety, there is also the health of the parent. When delivering a child there are potential risks that pose a extreme risk for bleeding -- placenta delivery, blood loss -- and death of the parent without proper medical treatment," Captain Pfaff said.

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