They've rescued dogs trapped down cliffs and cats up trees. They've come to the aid of horses stuck in holes, cows mired in swamps, and even a possum in a drainpipe.
But yesterday was possibly the first time the intrepid volunteers of Kerikeri Fire Brigade have been called out to rescue a seagull.
Firefighters were alerted to the avian emergency at about 2.20pm. Arriving at the scene, conveniently across the road from the fire station, they found a distressed gull on the roof of the two-storey Procter Library.
Station officer Andy Hamberger put his hand up for the risky rescue mission, climbing a ladder to where the seagull was entangled in what was thought to be a nylon bird deterrent line.
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"He'd got himself tangled by the leg and one wing. It was a high-rise rescue, a good 13-14 metres up I'd say. I untangled him, embraced him, then put him back on the roof."
The seagull then took off without so much as a squawk of thanks, Hamberger said.
"He did take a few bites of my finger though. He didn't say thank you but it was still a job well done by everyone involved."
Hamberger said the ungrateful gull would be added to a long list of successful animal rescues.
The most memorable ones included the rescue of a heavily pregnant mare from a creek at Waipapa West Rd — the foal was later named Flick in the brigade's honour — and a possum rescued by smashing open its drainpipe prison at Mangonui.
Hamberger said he was looking forward to the day the brigade was called out to rescue a large crayfish.