A Yakima firefighter’s decision to forge ahead with an early morning workout probably helped save an abandoned infant Thursday.
The baby girl is expected to survive after being found in a cardboard box outside a Yakima fire station by the firefighter, who heard her crying, said Capt. Jeff Pfaff of the Yakima Fire Department.
The girl, who had her umbilical cord clamped with a bobby pin, appeared to have been outside the Tieton Drive station in sub-freezing weather for at least an hour, according to the fire department.
Doctors estimated that she would not have survived if left in the cold much longer, according to a news release issued by the department.
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Firefighter JoAnna Albrecht started exercising about 6 a.m. when she heard crying from outside a door that is typically not used. Checking on the sound, she discovered the crying girl, who was wrapped in towels inside a cardboard apple box, the release said.
Pfaff said Albrecht, who was going off duty, briefly considered not working out before she decided to head for the exercise room.
Albrecht brought the baby inside and requested an ambulance and Yakima police.
Meanwhile, firefighters checked on the child and began warming her up. She was taken to a local hospital for further treatment.
Under state law, fire stations are a safe haven for people to take unwanted infants. However, anyone surrendering a child is asked to alert firefighters on duty and provide details about the health of the child and parent, the fire department said.
Yakima police gathered information in an attempt to check on the mother as a precaution, Pfaff said.