GFD saves stuck goose on the loose

DNR calls on firefighters to save bird frozen to ice

GRAFTON FIRE DEPARTMENT members (from left) Keith Jones, Darren Haynes, Dan Grunwald and Dani Blank wore their ice-water rescue gear during a Saturday morning rescue on the Milwaukee River near the Bridge Street dam after passers-by noticed a goose frozen to the ice. Fire Chief Bill Rice credits his crew’s training for making the operation go smoothly.

THE GOOSE WAS seen safely placed in a crate with ice still frozen to its leg. After thawing the ice, the DNR took it to a new safe home away from the Milwaukee River.
Ozaukee Press Staff

It wasn’t a wild goose chase that led rescuers onto the Milwaukee River last weekend.

It was a domestic goose that was frozen to the ice for two days that led passers-by along the Bridge Street dam to call for help.  

They notified the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and at about 8:45 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 23, the DNR called the Grafton Fire Department for help freeing the goose whose leg was frozen in the ice.

Witnesses said they noticed the troubled bird early Friday morning.

Grafton firefighters were able to safely extract the goose by sawing into the ice around the leg.

The DNR then transported the goose to the Grafton Fire station to thaw the ice from its body.

Grafton Fire Chief Bill Rice said his firefighters have rescued animals such as dogs in the past, but he has never seen a rescue operation like this in his career.

“I guess there is a first time for everything,” he said, adding the rescue went smoothly and none of his firefighters were at risk because they have logged many hours in ice-rescue training.

Rice said the goose was healthy. Ozaukee County DNR game warden Tony Young took the animal to find it a safe home.

“This was definitely a unique situation for our firefighters,” Rice said.

“It helped us practice on the ice, and we are ready to help future animals that could get stuck. We hope that never happens, but we are prepared.”




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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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