Firefighter Jim Bailey holds ducklings rescued from a storm drain in a Martha Lake neighborhood this morning. (Amy Shieff photo)
Firefighters at Snohomish County Fire District 1’s Martha Lake Fire Station 21 responded to a rescue call this morning that was anything but routine: freeing 11 ducklings trapped in a storm drain.
The firefighters responded to 170th Place SE and 2nd Avenue SE just west of Mill Creek after Amy Shieff called Fire District 1 Headquarters asking for help. She had been walking in the neighborhood when she noticed a duck circling around the grate on a storm drain in an unusual way. Shieff said she stopped to investigate and that’s when she heard the ducklings in the drain.
Shieff said she made several phone calls to other agencies before her neighbor, Leilani Miller, suggested she try the fire department.
When firefighters arrived the ducklings had moved away from the drain where Shieff first heard them and were now beyond reach in the drainage pipe between two storm drains. Firefighters put a fire hose in the first drain and used a gentle stream of water to float the ducklings down to the next drain where they worked with neighbors to safely retrieve them as they came through. “Firefighters described it as a water slide for ducks,” said Leslie Hynes, Fire District 1 public information officer.
“The rescue was a group effort. The neighbors played a key role,” she said. “We are glad we could work with them to reunite the ducklings with their mother.”
Fire District 1 is the largest provider of fire and emergency medical services in Snohomish County, with full-time staffing at 12 fire stations. The department serves nearly 200,000 residents in unincorporated south Snohomish County, Brier, Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace.