Creative Firefighters Rescue Stuck Ducklings in California

Written by Melissa Breyer

It’s heartening to know that despite it all, firefighters are still rescuing baby animals in need.

Sometimes lately the modern world can feel like a pretty grim place. But then we hear of a simple little story that could have sprung straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting, and everything feels just a tiny bit better. This story is one of those.

One recent morning in Alameda County, California, Engine 10 got a call about two wee ducklings caught in a storm drain. OK so right there: A) Someone called the fire department about two ducklings and B) The fire department showed up.

But then the scared ducklings refused to come out.

So what to do? Break out a YouTube video of a mama duck a-quacking, of course! Which is exactly what firefighter Brendan Burke did. The ducklings responded by inching towards their rescuers, who swiftly scooped up the duo and placed them into a box

However … there was no duckling family in sight. Instead of calling Animal Control, they searched the area for almost an hour, to no avail. In a last-ditch effort, they checked the Monarch Bay Golf Club and lo and behold, spotted a family of ducks in the distance, says Brian Centoni, an engineer with the Alameda County Fire Department.

When Burke approached, the duck and her 10 nestlings initially retreated, reports SF Gate, until one of the wayward ducklings released a chirp. Mama duck approached and rounded up the missing two and the family was happily reunited.

“It was kind of special,” Centoni says. “Brendan said it was one of the most sentimental moments of his career. He was 100 percent sure we’d found the right family.”

So maybe the world feels like a bit of a mess, but at least for one family of ducks in California, all is well.

Hats off to Alameda County Engine 10, may your compassion be contagious.

This post originally appeared on TreeHugger.

Photo Credit: Maureen Leong-Kee/Flickr


Chad A
Chad Anderson3 months ago

Thank you.

Ingrid A
Ingrid A4 months ago

That's good

Kelsey S
Kelsey S4 months ago


Carole R
Carole R4 months ago

Thank you. They are heroes. 🐤

Cindy M. Dutka
Cindy M. D4 months ago

Alabama County Engine 10 you have my utmost respect and admiration. Thank you for all you do as firefighters and as caring human beings.

Cindy S
Cindy Smith4 months ago


RICKY SLOAN4 months ago


Christine Stewart
Christine Stewart4 months ago

Thank you to the firefighters for saving the ducklings!

Sue R
Sue R4 months ago

Great story.


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