I was attributed a statement by some firefighters that had worked with me regularly; “I thought that I had seen it all.” I guess that I must have said that more frequently than I realized. I also used to say, “Stay on this job long enough and you are prone to see anything.” One particular overtime shift fell right into that category. However, the call was received I do not remember, but the situation involved a mother duck swimming around an overflow drain in a lake. She was quacking, to the point that residents began to notice. What had happened was that her baby ducks had fallen into the drain.
Initial attempts consisted of flooding the drainpipe with high volumes of water, hoping that we could float the ducklings to us. It did not take long for us to realize that this was a losing battle. We looked at this from every angle possible, but in the end, my boss said, “Just make this go away.” I told him that I had an idea, but that he probably was not going to like it. When I shared it, he said, “You are right; I don’t like it.” He then said, “If this will go away, let’s do it.” We then called for a couple of pieces of specialized apparatus, and put our plan into action. The outcome was one duckling fatality, and four or five ducklings rescued. The mother duck swam off with her remaining ducklings, the residents of the community were happy, and we had been a part of something that my boss would say had never occurred. As Graham would say, “you can’t write this stuff.”
No two days in the life of a firefighter ever seemed to be the same. When I was in Advanced Public Information Officer School, our instructors would say that every department was one call away from national media being on their doorstep. It was the fact that no two days were alike that made the job so interesting. We weren’t able to do everything that people always asked of us, but on that morning, in that community, we rescued those ducklings.
A note from Pastor Pete: Bermuda Baptist Church is partnering with Lifeline Fellowship to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ, at an Easter Sunrise Service at 7 AM on Sunday, April 20. The service will take place on the bluff at Henricus Park. There will be a time of fellowship immediately following the service, as we plan to serve a continental style breakfast. Everyone is welcome.