Six ducklings were reunited with their mother Saturday by the Tacoma Fire Department and people who discovered them in a storm drain.
The small brood fell through the metal grate while crossing the street near Stadium High School around 3:30 p.m., according to Tacoma Fire Department spokesman Joe Meinecke.
Firefighters were called to help and borrowed a pool skimmer from a neighbor to retrieve them.
Dressed in full rescue gear, including helmets and heavy yellow jackets and brown pants, the rescue workers crouched above the drain scoop the birds to safety as their mother paced nearby.
"She supervised the rescue operation," Meinecke said.
With the help of the pool skimmer they reached the ducklings who had huddled together in an outflow pipe about 4 feet below street level.
The ducklings were placed in buckets then returned to their waiting mother. Fire crews think runoff from the afternoon's heavy rainfall likely overpowered the small birds, causing them to fall into the storm drain.