The Rapid City Fire Department rescued three ducklings last week that were stuck in a storm drain near a highway ramp.
The department posted on Facebook that “The crew was able to climb in the drain and rescue the ducklings successfully! There seemed to be no fowl play.”
Battalion Chief Calen Maningas says a resident of the area “noticed that a mama duck kept walking around in the street in the same spot.”
They investigated, found the ducklings in the storm drain, and called the fire department for help.
Captain Tyler Powell was one of the 7-member crew sent to rescue the baby birds. He described the drain as filled with water, runoff and debris from multiple culverts – which proved to be the biggest challenge for the would-be rescuers.
Captain Powell says that every time a firefighter would try to grab the ducklings, they would swim into another culvert and hide.
The firefighters eventually determined the ends of the culverts and used a hose to “strategically” spray water to flush the ducks out to the other side and into the hands of the waiting firefighters – who formed a chain to bring the birds to the surface by hand.
Powell says the ducklings were fine throughout the rescue. The firefighters placed them in a cardboard box and gave it to the person who made the original call and hoped the mother duck would return and take them back.
The Rapid City department posted photos of the rescue on Facebook. One shows two fuzzy ducklings wading inside the storm drain when firefighters arrived.
The others show firefighters going down a ladder into the drain and setting up a hose, and a crew member climbing back up the ladder with a duckling in hand.