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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Duck, duck...saved

Duckling rescue brings call for action

By Brian McCready
Milford Bureau Chief
— A day after firefighters rescued five ducklings that fell into a storm drain near Wal-Mart, a top city animal control official said he will ask the owner of the retail site to make modifications to ensure something similar doesn’t occur again.
On Tuesday morning, firefighters from Engine Company 7 went to 1365 Boston Post Road on a report of five ducklings in peril. The ducklings had fallen into a storm drain on the property.
When firefighters arrived, the mother duck was standing guard near the storm drain, making a lot of noise, said Acting Fire Capt. Christopher D. Zak.
Firefighters Daniel Talaneic, Peter Phelan and Brett Corris were able to use nets from Wal-Mart to rescue three of the ducklings, but the other two had fallen farther into the storm drain pipe system.
Zak said the three firefighters quickly were able to remove a cover from another nearby storm drain and used a fire hose to put a small amount of water into the drain. One of the firefighters entered the drain, and the remaining two ducks were caught with a net as they came through the pipe.
The ducks were released into the wooded area behind Wal-Mart.
Assistant Animal Control Officer Rick George said it is unfortunately all too common for smaller animals, such as ducklings, to fall into a storm drain. He said a lot of newer storm drains are engineered in a way to help prevent small animals from slipping through the cracks.
He said he would talk to the owner of the Wal-Mart site, Starwood Ceruzzi, of Fairfield, and ask the company to insert a new screen to ensure no other animals fall into the drain.
George said he was busy himself Tuesday responding to a similar call at City Hall. A goose fell 6 feet into a storm drain, but he was able to rescue the bird without it being harmed.
George said the ducklings the firefighters rescued could have otherwise been in serious danger.
“New ducklings cannot swim and possibly could have drowned and be subjected to predators the further they went down, (the drain)” George said.
He said all city agencies, including police, fire and public works, are very “pro-animal in Milford.” He said the firefighters should be commended for their efforts.
Zak said while not dangerous, rescue of the ducklings is part of the job. “The Fire Department does not just put out fires,” Zak said. “We respond to hazardous material spills and remediation, and respond to a number of water rescues, and even duck rescues. This brings in a whole different realm of the fire service.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

congratulations and thanks for being so kind!
Remember, what goes around comes around. Good Luck and be safe

May 29, 2008 at 1:05 PM 

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