Aurora firefighters tell story of seven baby ducks and the rescue that went viral
By DEBORAH TAKAHARA
AURORA, Colo. — The firefighters of Aurora Station 7 thought they had seen it all until they got the call around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.
"We were called out on several baby ducks stuck in a storm drain in front of a business," engineer Zac Varela said.
Added firefighter Benjamin Ware; "I was like duck rescue? I didn't know what to expect."
They found seven fuzzy ducklings stuck about 6 feet down in a storm drain in front of American Correction Academy. One of the employees videotaped the whole thing and shared the video with FOX31 Denver.
"They looked like they had been waiting for us, chirping and stuff. Making noise. It felt like there were kids down there," fire medic Ishmael Hernandez said.
Hernandez knew he would be the only one that could fit in the drain, so he jumped in.
"You're not really trained for this in the academy. ... You go in and put out fires, cut holes, perform rescues," he said. "It was more let's see what we have and pull them out one at a time."
"Ish would hand the ducks up and I'd grab them from him. We had a paper box to put them in," Varela said.
"We got them in the box they looked pretty scared, pretty frail, definitely had a look of thank you for getting out of this predicament," Hernandez said. "Only one gave me a hard time. ... Pretty much ran from me and into a hole so I got out and we waited patiently. He came back out kind of calling. I jumped back in and got the seventh one."
Ishmael and his crew have never seen a rescue like this before, but their training and experience paid off.
"For us it was just another call. ... Rescues come in all shapes and sizes. We get the call and go do what we do," Lt. George Begnaud said.
Word quickly spread of the rescue and the reunion between the baby ducks and their mom. Spectators snapped pictures and shared them on social media.
"Like fire it spread," Hernandez said. "We started getting responses and people saying this is amazing, this is amazing."
Firefighters respond to all sorts of emergencies. They can only hope each has such a happy ending.
"Anytime we have a good call and the outcome is positive, we're pretty happy about it," Vareal said.
More amazing animal rescues by first responders: