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Gloves a must for echidna rescue
Firefighters from Corinella Fire Brigade took time out from a routine maintenance run last Sunday to offer a helping (gloved) hand to an echidna stuck on a roadside.
Brigade members Warren Thurgood, Mick Hamilton and Michael Dady had been driving around checking local fire hydrants, as they do every Sunday, when they decided to head down to the boat ramp area.
There, a woman approached them about a small echidna that had got itself trapped halfway into a burrow near the gutter.
It was Training Officer Mick Hamilton who took on the prickly task.
“The first thing we said to Mick was ‘get your gloves on,’” laughed Warren, Corinella’s First Lieutenant, who said firefighters carried full sets of protective gear with them everywhere.
“Mick got down on his hands and knees and just scooped up the echidna – and gave him a bit of a wiggle because he was caught – and just coaxed him out.”
“He was definitely the man for the job - born and bred in this area, so he knew what to do.”
While a little spooked at first, Warren said that once freed the echidna relaxed into Mick’s arms, giving Third Lieutenant Michael Dady the opportunity to grab a photo with his mobile phone.
“The little fellow seemed quite comfortable with Mick,” said Warren. “We reckon he’s our quiet achiever – he just has a way about him."
From there, the three firefighters moved the echidna to a safe place away from the road, where it lost no time in digging his way to safety.
“We took him to another spot and he was able to burrow in,” Warren said.
He explained that the brigade frequently helped move or assist wildlife around the local area.
“It’s all in a day’s work for a Sunday. That’s just what you do.
“It’s good we were able to help because the poor little fellow was trapped and I’m not sure he would have survived for long.”
Corinella, on the Corinella peninsula, is a popular holiday location around 115km south-east of Melbourne, on the eastern shore of Western Port.
Corinella Fire Brigade is a rural brigade covering Coronet Bay, Tenby Point and Corinella.