MONROE COUNTY, Mich. (WTVG) – With temperatures at or below freezing for the past few days, some waterways have finally started icing over — leading to a curious scene in Monroe County this week.
Chief Mark Cherney of Monroe Township Fire got a call from a Michigan state trooper about a duck or goose stuck in the ice in the middle of the Raisin River. With darkness falling, the chief made the call: “The water level is pretty low in the river, there’s little to no current, and it’s ice-covered,” he recalls, “so I figured if we did have to go out and get this animal unstuck from the ice, the safety risk was low.”
Cherney cited the possibility of a bigger problem if they hadn’t made the move. “What if eventually, a person or some kids try going out and getting this duck unstuck and help it?”, the chief reasoned. “Who knows if they fall through the ice? Now we’ve got a real serious issue going on… not to mention if we’d have left there and said ‘Ah, let’s not worry about it, it’s probably a decoy’… we’d have probably been thinking about it all night, ‘What if it really needed rescuing?’”
Crews donned their suits and tread with caution about 300 feet out, only to confirm their suspicion: “They chipped away the ice, picked it up and held it up in the air like ‘Oh my gosh, it’s a decoy!’”
The fake fowl offered some levity for the department, and a good training exercise for the real thing. “We try to train once or twice a year during the winter months when there’s some good ice,” says Cherney. “Everything went well, they responded accordingly and did what they were supposed to do as if there were a real human being out there.”
So the next time you head out to hunt, maybe make sure you have all your ducks in a row first.
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