Calif. firefighters duck into drain to rescue ducklings

Crews lifted up the drain's metal gate and one firefighter hopped in to keep the ducklings from getting any farther into the drainage system


By Megan Diskin
Ventura County Star

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Local firefighters rescued some ducklings from a Thousand Oaks storm drain Saturday morning as the birds' worried mother watched nearby.

"Mom was kind of in a panic," Ventura County Fire Department Engineer Brad Peters said.

Peters said he was with Capt. Nick Cleary and firefighter Ryan Coccia at California Lutheran University for a March for Dimes charity event when they got the call about 9:30 a.m. They were originally there in a show of support for the charity, which in part works to prevent premature births and focuses on the challenges mothers and babies face, Peters said.

Amanda Ochoa, 32, was at the event with a group from the Ventura College School of Nursing, where she is a student. She said she was with her 4-year-old daughter on the "family walk."

"We were walking up and we saw this other family around the storm drain," said Ochoa, an Oxnard resident.

The family told them a mother duck and her offspring were walking on the sidewalk and got scared by all the people, so they fled into some nearby bushes. However, two ducklings got left behind and fell into the storm drain.

The firefighters lifted up the drain's metal gate and Coccia hopped in to keep the ducklings from getting any farther into the drainage system. Then Coccia pulled out each, handing them off to Peters, who passed them to Cleary in bucket-brigade style before the birds were returned to their mother.

"It was really nice to see," Ochoa said.

Copyright 2017 Ventura County Star

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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