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Firefighters rescue five 'lucky ducks' in Londonderry

Union Leader Correspondent

July 09. 2014 8:28PM
Londonderry Firefighter Phillip LeBlanc, left, and Fire Lt. Gary Dion, right, used a pool-cleaning net to remove a family of ducklings from a storm drain in the Nevins Active Adult Community Wednesday morning. The animals appeared unharmed and were promptly returned to their mother. (COURTESY)

LONDONDERRY — A family of ducks was reunited in Londonderry Wednesday morning, thanks to the efforts of local firefighters.

Moments into his Wednesday morning shift, Fire Lt. Gary Dion received a call from the town’s highway department, informing him that a group of ducklings appeared to be trapped inside a storm drain in the Nevins Active Adult Community.

Battalion Chief Douglas Cardwell promptly dispatched Rescue Company 1 to the storm drain near 12 Morrison Drive.

Upon their arrival, the crew discovered five of the baby birds at the bottom of an eight-foot storm water catch basin.

“This definitely presented an unusual scenario,” Cardwell said.

With the mother duck pacing nervously nearby, Dion thought fast as he made his way to the nearby Aquatic Adventures Scuba Shop.

Returning with a long-handled pool net, Dion and fellow firefighters removed the drain grate and used the net to gently lift each of the five ducklings to safety.

“The mother had scooted off into the woods when we got there, but we could see her watching us,” Dion said.

Released from the net, the lucky ducklings flocked to their mother’s side.

Cardwell said the animals appeared no worse for the wear, despite their experience.

“The family of them left the scene under their own power and without any apparent injuries,” he said.

Dion said the department receives animal and wildlife-related calls on a relatively regular basis and firefighters try to help them whenever they can.

“This was actually the second duck call I’d gotten in about a month,” Dion said with a laugh.

“As things go, people know they can call the fire department when things like this happen, because we’ll know what to do.”

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