EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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July 10, 2014

Londonderry duckling rescue: No harm, no fowl

Firefighters reunite ducklings with their mother -- twice

LONDONDERRY — When firefighters responded to the first call of the day yesterday, they didn’t have the right equipment. Fortunately, Aquatic Adventures Scuba Shop had just what they needed — a long-handled net.

Fire Lt. Gary Dion started his shift yesterday at 8 a.m. and a rescue call soon followed. Five ducklings had fallen through a storm grate on Morrison Drive and needed help.

The ducklings, perhaps out for an early-morning stroll, had slipped through the grate and down about 6 to 8 feet into a storm drain. Fortunately, Dion said, the water below cushioned the ducklings fall. Just as fortunately, the water below wasn’t deep enough to allow the frantic group to access nearby pipes and swim away from their rescuers.

“The mom was actually standing in the grass off to side, in a bit of a panic,” Dion said yesterday. “Conveniently, there’s a scuba shop right up the street. We drove over there and grabbed their pool net.”

It was all easy from there, he said. Dion and Firefighter Philip LeBlanc removed the grate and scooped up the ducklings.

A nearby resident heard the fowl cries at about 8 a.m. and called the fire department for help.

“It was just a matter of scooping them out and getting them back out where they belonged,” Dion said.

The ducklings were none the worse off for their adventure, he said — no harm, no fowl, so to speak.

It wasn’t the first such rescue firefighters have been called upon to make in recent weeks, according to Dion.

A couple of weeks ago, firefighters were called out to rescue three young ducklings that had fallen into a resident’s pool and couldn’t get out.

“The pool was still under construction and it didn’t have any stairs,” Dion said. “The mom was waiting nearby and we just scooped them out.”

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