There were no bad guys to catch or fires to put out Friday morning. Instead, police and firemen saved a troop of ducklings from a storm drain in Ridgewood's business district.
The day started out normally enough. At about 9 a.m. Chief John Ward was nearby checking pedestrian safety issues when he got a call of an animal trauma on S. Broad and Hudson streets.
"Upon my arrival one mother duck was waiting nearby for assistance," he laughed, adding the fire department also responded. "The other seven ducklings were making their presence known in the storm drain adjacent to the crosswalk."
The ducks, Ward said, appeared to be crossing the road – not in the crosswalk, which would have prevented the storm drain issue – and just happened to fall in.
"The ducklings were shifting back and forth between another storm drain closer to ," he said. "We opened both storm drains and tried to corral them. Literally we were picking them up and putting them onto the sidewalk with the mother."
"It was cute how protective the mother was," added Cpt. Paul Monton. "It was quite striking how she protected her young. It just shows you how that instinct is instilled in nature."
At one point a couple ducklings jumped back into the storm drain out of fear, as others hopped into street, prompting officers to halt and direct traffic.
The ducklings were rescued within 15 minutes of the first report, responders said.
The ducks are becoming fairly well known in town. The mother stopped by a couple weeks ago and has been spotted by Van Neste Square. It appears she's given birth within the past few weeks.
Later on Friday morning, having escaped peril, the ducks were spotted sunbathing in the lawn of nearby .
"All in all," said Monton, "it was a good day for the ducks."