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Jamestown DPW employees save fawn that fell into basin

Submitted photo Mark Roetzer, city assistant civil engineer, with a fawn that he saved earlier this month after it fell into a catch basin near the Sprague Street Bridge near the Jamestown Public Works Department building.

JAMESTOWN — Add a new job description to being an employee of the Jamestown Public Works Department.

Besides general maintenance and repair of public streets, buildings and parks, Public Works Department employees also save fawns.

Earlier this month, Mark Roetzer, city assistant civil engineer, Al Spunaugle, Public Works Department, and Dana Forness, Public Works Department, went to great lengths to save a young deer after it fell into a catch basin near the Sprague Street Bridge.

“I don’t know if you know what a drop inlet looks like, but it’s a metal grate with a cut out at the curb. The hole is only about 6 inches, but it managed to fall in there and once it was at the bottom it was crying,” Roetzer said about the fawn. “The mother was across the street. We just couldn’t leave it in there.”

Roetzer said the fawn fell about 5 feet down and then crawled through a pipe and fell another 5 feet down onto a concrete pier underneath the bridge.

“The only way for it to have escaped would have been for it to swim,” Roetzer said. “We were able to get a ladder and get down to it. I put a blanket over it. It was real calm. Because it was so calm, I was able to carry it up the ladder.”

Roetzer said Forness witnessed the deer fall into the catch basin, but because of a prior engagement, he had to leave. Roetzer said Spunaugle retrieved the ladder used to save the fawn.

“It’s just one of those things. You see something in trouble that can’t help itself, and part of you just has to help it,” Roetzer said.

Jeff Lehman, city public works director, said the whole incident was happening after the shift for the employees had ended.

“It was great to see our guys step up after hours,” he said. “They went down and saved the little deer and got it back on its way.”

It wasn’t the only animal rescue this month. On May 7, a Jamestown police officer went into the Chadakoin River to retrieve a distressed dog that had entered the water. Video of the dog’s rescue went viral.

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