City crews went underground to rescue ducklings down the storm drain

  • Concord firefighter/paramedic Justin Kantar of Engine No. 7 surveys the situation near a drain on Old Turnpike Road after six ducklings fell into a culvert while crossing with their wood duck mother on Thursday. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

  • Concord firefighter/paramedic Justin Kantar of Engine 7 eases his way into the drain on Old Turnpike Road after ducklings fell into a culvert while crossing with their wood duck mother on Thursday. The firefighters and paramedics were able to retrieve all six of the ducklings. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • After several attempts and lots of patience, Concord firefighters and paramedics along with New Hampshire Fish and Game were able to rescue all of the wood ducklings that fell into a drain along Old Turnpike Road.

Monitor staff
Published: 6/10/2021 4:04:48 PM

It was touch and go for a while, but Concord firefighters went six-for-six Thursday rescuing ducklings that had fallen through a sewer grate on Old Turnpike Road.

“A gentleman saw the mother duck run away, and we could easily hear the little ducklings down in the grate,” said firefighter-paramedic Justin Kantar of Engine No. 7, based in The Heights, which responded to the call.

Operating on the principle of least risk, the team first tried lowering a bucket into the pipe and herding what appeared to be five ducklings into it, without success.

“They were very hesitant and nervous of the pail we were trying to get them into,” said Kantar. “I said, ‘I’ll have to get down there.’ ”

Once down inside, Kantar gathered up the five ducklings but spotted a sixth that headed down the pipe, which crossed the street to another grate, where several other pipes connected.

“It kept going away from me, and went down another pipe, south on Old Turnpike.”

He thought it was a goner, but later it was rescued.

The whole affair, Kantar said, is reflective of life with emergency services: Variety is the spice of life.

When you get a call, he said, “You don’t know what you’re going to deal with.”




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