Lucky ducks: Rescuing ducklings part of unusual morning for firemen

Trey Small, a fireman with the Dover Fire Department, holds one of the six ducklings he and his crew rescued from a drainage pipe on Commerce Way on Monday morning. Submitted photo

DOVER — As a volunteer firefighter with the Dover Fire Department Trey Small never knows exactly what each day will bring.

But Monday morning turned out to be quite a different experience than the typical fire calls for Mr. Small as he worked alongside other firemen under the direction of Assistant Fire Chief Michael O’Connor Jr.

Following a call at 7:51 a.m., Mr. Small found himself in the sewers at the Collette Education Resource Center at 35 Commerce Way in the Enterprise Business Park. He was rescuing six ducklings who found themselves trapped in the drainage pipes.

“That was my first experience with rescuing ducks,” Mr. Small said. “The main thing was just trying to keep them from running back down the drain in the opposite direction.

“We hooked the (fire) engine to a hydrant on the other side of the parking lot where the ducklings were. We opened up another storm drain grate and flowed water through there and flushed them toward (awaiting firefighters).”

Mr. Small was happy to report that the six ducklings were eventually reunited with their mother at the drainage pond at the end of Commerce Way.

The call to rescue the ducklings came a little more than a half hour after the fire crew was called to retrieve a set of car keys from the roof of the Wawa convenience store at 208 S. DuPont Highway.

Dover fireman Trey Small squeezes into a drainage pipe to rescue the ducklings.

The keys wound up on the Wawa roof during a domestic argument in the parking lot. The vehicle was running as the fob was tossed onto the roof before being retrieved by the firemen.

“I would say it was a pretty unusual Monday morning,” Mr. Small said. “We’ve run those kinds of calls before, but it’s not really all that common.”

He did say it was the third time he has had to retrieve a set of keys from a rooftop.

“It has definitely been quite a Monday morning,” Assistant Chief O’Connor said. “After rescuing a set of keys from the roof of Wawa we ended up in the sewers rescuing six ducklings.”

Things returned to normal for the firefighters when they were called to extinguish a vehicle fire at Exit 97 off Del. 1 at 10:13 a.m.

“Sometimes it’s days full of nonsense and getting cats out of trees,” Mr. O’Connor said. “You just never know what to expect out there, but you have to be ready for it.”

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