A bizarre day, juxtaposing fire, emergency medicine, ducks, and goats.

This morning, told me that she had seen a red-billed duck on the road. I didn’t think much of it.

Around two, I got toned out for a minor traffic accident. I went and drove engine one to the scene, then directed traffic for a while. After the car was pulled out of the ditch, I drove the engine back to the station, then headed home.

On turning into my road, I found several neighbors pulled over. I stopped my car and got out. One of the neighbors, a woman that I had not met before, asked me if I was a duck catcher. I said I was not.

The neighbors were trying to catch the duck and cage it for reasons that are still not clear to me. Being the helpful person I am, though, I pitched in to try to catch the duck. We herded it back and forth through the woods without success.

After a while, I went and got my turnout coat and gloves, thinking I would grab the duck and avoid being pecked. I actually managed to put my hands on the duck at one point; however, it squirmed away and was careful not to let anyone get close to it after that. Eventually the duck went down the bank to the river and swam away.

Tonight, I was in the office, ostensibly working, when the phone rang. It was , who informed me that there were goats on the porch. I walked over to the house and, sure enough, there was a pair of black goats on the porch.

After some discussion, I called my dispatcher on the telephone. I identified myself and informed the dispatcher of the goats. The dispatcher laughed for a long time, apologized for laughing, then finally suggested that I should call the state police.

Meanwhile, was on the porch feeding the goats carrots and peaches.

I called the state police and told them about the goats. They took down our phone number, suggested that we should try to corral them, said they would make some calls, and rang off.

I got some rope from the garage and we tried to tie up the goats. One of the goats let us put a lasso around its neck, but the other did not. The lassoed goat responded by pulling away, and eventually we untied it.

The goats went back to playing on the porch, looking in the window at the cat, and butting each other like miniature rams.

The state police dispatcher called after a few minutes and asked me if they were black goats. I told him that the goats were, in fact, black. He said that he had called our town chief of police, waking him, and that the chief had told him who the goats belonged to, but that the owner did not have a phone.

I drove over to the owner’s house. He was not there, but a drunk occupant told me that they had been looking for the goats all afternoon, and that he would give the owner the information when he got home.

I drove home again. Somewhat at a loss, we decided to put the goats in my old office. We opened the sliding glass door and the goats walked in like they were at home.

As we were deciding how to deal with the goats, my pager went off again. I went off to a call for a young male who had hit his head and had difficulty breathing. It was a pretty good call from an educational standpoint; the guy was in not too bad shape, just hyperventilating. I didn’t realize the problem and started him on high-flow o2, then started assesing for head injury. I was a little perplexed with the symptoms; the guy didn’t seem head injured. Finally the ambulance showed up and the EMT-I had the guy breathe into a paper bag for a few minutes, which took care of the breathing problem. Next time I’ll know.

I got home to find the goats bedded down in my old office. There they sleep. I got the number for the town animal control officer while I was at the fire station filling out the call report; if the owner doesn’t show up tomorrow morning, we’ll call and have the town guy come get them.

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