SCES rescues gaggle of goslings

Kimberly Lougheed, Chartwell Emerald Hills Retirement Residence maintenance manager, said after being reunited with their parents by SCES, the geese and goslings walked across the street, while the humans stopped traffic, and helped the birds to a nearby pond on Saturday, May 23. Photo Supplied

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A nest of goose eggs had residents at Chartwell Emerald Hills Retirement Residence eagerly awaiting some new residents over the past few weeks but the hatching turned into an emergency situation.

The geese parents set up a nest on a residents’ balcony in a planter and the resident, and all her neighbours, watched the eggs waiting for them to hatch.

When the eggs finally hatched this past weekend, the goslings didn’t make it all the way down to the ground like expected and became trapped on the roof of the building, which prompted Kimberly Lougheed, maintenance manager to call 911.

SCES helped rescue five goslings that were stuck on the fifth-floor outcropping of Chartwell Emerald Hills Retirement Residence on Saturday. Photo Supplied

“Strathcona County Emergency Services received a call shortly before 2 p.m. Saturday, May 23, from citizens requesting help dealing with five goslings stuck on the fifth-floor outcropping at the seniors complex on Eden Boulevard in Sherwood Park,” explained Bruce Patterson, SCES acting deputy chief. “We responded with a tower and the duty platoon chief to see what we could do to assist to get these goslings off the fifth floor so they could be reunited with their mother and father that were on the ground themselves.”

Patterson said crews used a tower to safely get to the goslings and a special net to collect them and get them on the ground and reunited with their parents, who were closely watching nearby. The rescue took about 30 minutes to complete.

“They seemed to sense the firefighter holding the net with the goslings were there to help and were able to gently able to remove the goslings from the net and reunite them with mom and dad. Nobody was injured and everybody is doing fine,” Patterson recalled.

Lougheed said after being reunited with their parents, the geese and goslings walked across the street, while the humans stopped traffic, and helped the birds to a nearby pond.

“We’re hoping they find a new location to live now,” Patterson joked.

Strathcona County Emergency Services are familiar with rescuing goslings, conducting at least one every year. The acting deputy chief noted these calls kill two birds with one stone; it provides good practice for SCES staff and it’s a nice way to help local wildlife and the community.

“We run into this once and a while and we appreciate when people give us a quick phone call to let us help. We don’t want citizens to put themselves in danger and we’d rather assist if we can,” Patterson said.

County fire trucks are equipped with special nets that firefighters can use for these types of rescues.

“We do so many different types of rescues with the goslings,” the acting deputy chief explained. “It is more often when they get caught into the water systems and get sucked down through the grates, as they are just wide enough for them to fall through, and we tend to do those rescues several times a year, but I think this is the first time we’ve had to use a tower for a rescue of some goslings.”

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