On August 29th, members of the Richburg South Carolina Fire Department woke to find an exhausted hummingbird in their engine bay.
The shimmering little bird was found lying prostrate on the floor.
Although the tiny and delicate creature was too weak to stand, much less fly, he couldn’t have chosen a better spot to get stuck.
According to Richburg Fire-Rescue’s assistant fire chief, T. Melton, in an interview with The Charlotte Observer, three members of the department dropped what they were doing to see if they could help the flightless bird.
According to Melton, the department’s Chief, John Agee, along with Fire Marshal David Mccain and firefighter Jobeth Holmes came together to look after the tiny hummingbird.
They took him outside, and then filled a small bottle cap with some water and laid it on the ground next to the heat-stricken “hummer”.
The heat has been particularly hard on small and large birds alike this summer, as home gardens aren’t as abundant as they once were, and open fields are often sprayed with harsh chemicals to prevent wildflowers.
It’s relatively easy for these small guys to get tuckered out, with wing-beat speeds of up to 5,400 beats per minute while traveling up to 20 hours without rest while migrating, according to UC Davis Hummingbird Health and Conservation.
For a bird that drinks up to twice its body weight per day on average, with a metabolism 100 times faster than an elephant, getting dehydrated can easily turn into a life-threatening situation.
Needless to say, this tiny hummingbird, who was smaller than the firemen’s finger, was undoubtedly happy for the rescue, as he was eventually able to stand, and then fly away!
The Richburg Fire-Rescue team takes pride in their empathy for all living creatures, both human and otherwise. They wrote:
“You can teach almost anyone how to be a firefighter, a medic or just about anything imaginable. What is virtually impossible to teach is compassion. We are fortunate that we have a tremendous group in our department that has passion and desire to help, regardless of the situation… This isn’t the first time this has happened and knowing our members, it will not be the last!”
The Facebook post received an overwhelming amount of praise from readers.
As an outpouring of gratitude from Facebook readers filled in the comments on the post, other commenters offered suggestions for helping the hummingbird out.
One reader pointed out that the firemen should include a birdbath for future visitors to stop and have a drink, while others suggested installing a hummingbird feeder at the firehouse.
The firemen couldn’t agree more.
In response to this suggestion, T. Melton told the Observer that they most likely would include a feeder in the future, jokingly stating that the hummingbirds are lacking in safety knowledge.
“I think we are going to have to. They are finding their way in, but can’t figure out how to exit. They never attended any of our fire prevention programs about having an exit plan.”
One reader happened to be an employee at the Grateful Gnome, a high-end hummingbird feeder manufacturer, and they wanted to help the Richburg Firemen out.
Shortly after replying to the comment through instant messenger, a comment appeared with an image of the free handblown glass feeder that would soon be arriving at the Richburg firehouse.
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.
Follow your friends or be the first to join our group
The Fire-Rescue team was blown away by the offer.
They were so grateful for the gift, that T. Melton, the assistant fire chief, promised it would always be put to good use. He replied,
“Kip Goldhammer that is absolutely beautiful! We really appreciate you doing this and we will keep it full for the hummers! Thank you again! We will come visit your shop soon also!”
Not only are they heroes, but they’re humble as well. The Richburg, SC Fire-Rescue team has inspired all of us with their compassion and acts of kindness, and we know the hummingbirds are grateful too!
H/T: Fox News