Make Way for Ducklings
In her attempt to save ducklings that had fallen through an inlet grate ["Make Way for Ducklings," Inside Ann Arbor, May], "Sue" climbed down into a storm sewer. It should be mentioned that a storm manhole is a confined space that requires proper training (an eight-hour course) and procedure (gas monitoring, means of retrieval, personal protective equipment, entry supervisor and attendant, means of rescue, etc.) before entry. Any storm sewer can potentially contain noxious air that would suffocate and/or poison the entrant. I would not use the fact that the ducklings were still alive and seemingly doing fine as means of certifying that the air was OK to breathe. We can all appreciate the grievous situation of seeing a poor animal trapped, but an untrained, un-equipped person should never go into a confined space to save them.
[Originally published in May, 2013.]