It was baby Marvin’s eight-month birthday recently when his parents took him to Los Angeles County Fire Station 31 in the City of Paramount to meet the station’s crew but that was not the real reason for their visit. Baby Marvin and his parents, Daniel, 26, and 29-year-old Marvin, domestic partners and adoptive parents to the baby, were there to officially thank the firefighters who found newborn Marvin abandoned last October outside the front door of the Paramount fire station curled up in a Reebok shoe box.
Marvin and his parents first gathered inside the station’s front office together with Assistant Chief Gerry Heinzel, Battalion Chief Dan Ertel, Fire Fighter Paramedic Phil Muller, Fire Fighter Jeramy Virgin, and Community Services Representative La Fonda Riggins. Virgin was the first to discover the baby last year when he peered into the box and found him lying inside, wrapped in a towel and seemingly healthy, with a five-inch umbilical cord, unclamped.
Fire Station 31 members were returning from a call on October 9, 2009, when they saw a young female dressed in a hooded pullover sweater at the station’s front door. She was there to surrender Marvin under California’s Safely Surrendered Baby Law, they now know, but after parking rigs in the apparatus bay and walking out to the front door, they realized that she had departed and only the shoe box remained, which is considered to be an abandonment. The law requires the surrendering adult to physically hand the baby to firefighters on duty or to hospital staff if the baby is taken to a hospital.
Both of Marvin’s parents praised the firefighters and their own Los Angeles County social worker for going beyond the call of duty, as they described. I am really proud of this fire station, said Daniel, and of our own L.A. County social worker for the way that we and Marvin have been treated. Marvin’s doctors have declared him a fully healthy young baby boy. But for now at least, the firefighters were excited, the parents were gracious and Marvin was all smiles as the group gave thanks that a potentially tragic situation resulted in such a happy ending.