ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — A Texas boy abandoned at a fire station as an infant has a wish for his 10th birthday: to meet the firefighter who saved him.
On Thursday evening, the boy was to celebrate his recent birthday by meeting Arlington firefighter Wesley Keck, riding on a fire truck and touring the station.
The state's Baby Moses law allows a parent to leave an unharmed infant up to 60 days old at a fire station or hospital with no questions asked. Child Protective Services then takes custody of the babies. All states have similar laws, but Texas was the first to create one, signing it into law in 1999. It took effect in 2001.
Keck says he's excited about seeing the boy for the first time since finding a baby carrier outside the station on a cold morning in November 2002. He did a "double take" before rushing outside. He moved aside the blanket and saw a sleeping baby, then gently picked up the carrier and walked inside to tell his colleagues the shocking news, he said.
"I announced that somebody had left us a gift," Keck said Thursday. "I checked him out, and he seemed fine. I don't remember him crying. I held him, and he slept a lot.
"I have four kids, and some of the other firefighters are fathers, so taking care of babies wasn't new to us."
Since 2009, 43 babies have been dropped off at fire stations and hospitals in Texas, the most recent figures available, said Marissa Gonzales, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
"I'm happy the way it turned out," said Keck, a firefighter for 26 years. "I didn't do anything special. I happened to be in the right place at the right time."