Bedfordshire firefighters called more than 150 times to remove objects from people

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Wedding rings, handcuffs and releasing trapped limbs were the most common calls over a five-year period

Firefighters in Bedfordshire have been called to remove objects from people ​more than 150 times in five years, figures have shown.

Home Office data reveals firefighters in the Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service were called 27 times to remove an object from someone in 2018-19.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And figures show that between 2014-15 and 2018-19, crews responded to this type of incident 180 times.

The most common object fire crews were asked to remove was a wedding ringThe most common object fire crews were asked to remove was a wedding ring
The most common object fire crews were asked to remove was a wedding ring | other

Call-outs of this kind were at their lowest in 2011-12, with 13 incidents.

The most common reason is typically to remove a wedding ring – resulting in 12 call-outs in Bedfordshire in 2018-19 – while releasing objects trapping limbs is the second most frequent reason, with 11 incidents in that year.

Bedfordshire firefighters also had to remove handcuffs on one occasion in 2018-19.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Nationally, firefighters removed objects from people 4,878 times in 2018-19 – the highest number on record.

On New Year's Day this year, firefighters in Birmingham released a teenage boy who had locked himself in handcuffs and lost the key, while in 2019, a toddler in South Shields was rescued by Tyne and Wear firefighters after getting a potty stuck on her head.

Fire and rescue services are attending more non-fire incidents each year, with crews in England and Wales responding to 162,000 call-outs of this kind in 2018-19. Of those, 1,513 were attended in Bedfordshire.

The national increase has largely been driven by crews attending more medical and collaborative, multi-agency incidents.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Although Home Office data does not show the location of incidents involving the removal of objects in 2018-19, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents says more accidents happen in the home than anywhere else.

The charity has suggested the coronavirus lockdown could lead to a spike in DIY mishaps and other incidents for emergency services to deal with.

Ashley Martin, RoSPA's public health adviser, said: "We are aware of the potential for an increase in the number of home accidents requiring an emergency response because of the increased amount of time people are spending at home.

"During this period when people have more time at home, it may appear to be a good time to catch up on some household maintenance jobs including those for which they would normally call in expert help which is currently unavailable.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"RoSPA advises extreme caution when undertaking DIY activities and that people should remember that they can help the NHS and other emergency services by avoiding unnecessary callouts or visits to A&E due to an accidental injury."