Service + Solidarity Spotlight: AFSCME Member Saves Baby Ducks

Ducklings sculpture, Boston Public Garden (Photo by Rizka).

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Sometimes your union job takes you down a strange path. During his daily duties of cleaning and opening the Charles River Esplanade in Boston, T.J. Ruddock was called to help a woman one morning. Ruddock, a member of AFSCME Local 3485, responded to a report of a mother duck frantically circling a sewer grate. Trapped below the grate were eight ducklings who were unable to escape.

“At first, we tried a net to scoop them out, but the ducklings kept jumping out before we could get them up,” Ruddock said. “We realized someone was going to have to just get down in there and get them out by hand, so I grabbed my highwaters and climbed in.” Ruddock retrieved all eight ducklings and returned them to their mother. “I definitely love this part of the job, being able to help. You’re always helping out people, the wildlife, helping when there are events. I’m trying to get a full-time position to be here and help out more often.”