Boston EMTs pull baby from trash can after bystander hears crying

Boston EMS union President Michael MacNeil said it was fortunate the EMTs were nearby to be flagged down quickly by the bystander

Sean Philip Cotter
Boston Herald

BOSTON — A woman's quick actions when she heard the cries of a baby coming from a trash can in Dorchester saved a newborn who's now recovering in a local hospital.

Silvana Sanchez told reporters she flagged down Boston EMS workers after she heard crying coming from the trash can on the side of the road in front of Pat's Pizza at 2262 Dorchester Ave.

"I said, 'Hey, I'm hearing crying from this trash can — I need you to come here and look inside for me,'" Sanchez, who works nearby, said. "Because honestly, I was too scared."

So the EMTs, who'd been responding to an incident just down the block in the Lower Mills, opened up the belly of the trash can and found a bag inside with a baby in it.

"They cut the bag open, and they ran with the baby to the truck," she said. "They cut it open, and said, 'It's a baby' ... It literally happened in seconds."

Police confirmed they had found a baby, and that the child had been taken to a local hospital to recover. Cops also said they had located the baby's mother, and that the investigation continued.

No further information was immediately available.

Asked how she feels about likely saving the child, Sanchez noted she's a youth advocate — "this is my life; this is my job."

Sanchez said, "I was just at the right place at the right time."

Michael MacNeil, the head of the Boston EMS union, said this was "a tragic situation" for which it was lucky Boston EMS happened to be nearby.

"This is the type of stuff that keeps our EMTs and paramedics up at night," said MacNeil, head of the Boston EMS division of the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association.

Massachusetts has a "baby safe haven law" that says that "voluntary abandonment" of a baby 7 days old or younger to a hospital, police department or manned fire station doesn't in itself count as abuse or neglect, and that it doesn't automatically waive parental rights.

The law's been in place since 2004, when it was created in the hopes of stopping situations like this — and like a case in Worcester in 2017 when two people were charged after a baby was found dead in a trash bag in the woods.

A group that charts such abandonments said that as of 2019, eight of the previous 10 years had seen no babies dropped off under this law.


(c)2021 the Boston Herald


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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