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Firefighters get 132 callouts in a year to remove objects from people

Tyne and Wear Fire & Rescue Service attending an incident.
Tyne and Wear Fire & Rescue Service attending an incident.

Ever needed to call the fire brigade because you’ve lost the keys to your handcuffs, or got a ring stuck on your finger?

Between April 2017 and March 2018, firefighters in Tyne and Wear were called out 132 times to remove objects from people.

The data does not give specific details about incidents, however the most common reasons are normally removing stuck wedding rings or handcuffs.

On other occasions people have called 999 after getting pinned in toy cars and toilet seats.

Three years ago the London Fire Brigade released a video warning about the dangers of sexual objects, after they were called to remove two sex toys from a man who eventually needed surgery.

Recently released figures from the Home Office show the number of times the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service were called to non-fire incidents over the last financial year.

As well as removing objects from people, the fire brigade are still needed to sometimes remove stranded cats from trees.

Tyne and Wear’s firefighters were called 101 times to help rescue animals over the 12-month period.

The RSPCA, who liaise with the fire service about helping animals, said: “We’re grateful to firefighters for their support in completing rescues up and down the country.

“Collaborative working is so important in protecting animal welfare, and sometimes we simply cannot rescue animals from tricky situations – such as from heights or if specialist equipment is needed – without the help of fire crews.

“The RSPCA can request the help of the fire and rescue service but it is entirely up to them whether or not to attend. Some crews use animal rescues for training but emergencies involving people will always take priority.

“In some cases crews attend to minimise the risk of members of the public attempting to carry out rescues themselves and potentially putting themselves in danger.”

The Home Office data also shows firefighters were called out 244 times in cases of flooding, which includes rivers bursting their banks or pipes breaking, and 17 times to rescue people from water.

There were 34 false alarms with good intentions and seven malicious false alarms.