Fire service warning about Valentine's Day antics

Firefighters have been called out to some bizarre incidents, GMFRS has said
Firefighters have been called out to some bizarre incidents, GMFRS has said

Adventurous types are being given a word of caution about finding themselves trapped in red-faced situations by the fire service this Valentine’s Day.

Rescuing people from handcuffs, kettle spouts and bowling balls is not perhaps what firefighters are best known for but these are all examples of incidents GMFRS has been called out in the past 12 months.

One such incident occurred in the borough earlier this month when a man required firefighters to use bolt cutters to free him from handcuffs after his girlfriend has lost the key.

Crews across Greater Manchester have attended more than 420 incidents of people trapped or stuck, often in everyday household items, including a lady getting her thumb stuck in a bowling ball, children getting their head stuck in potties or toilet seats and cutting rings from the fingers of 264 people.

Firefighters have also rescued people stuck in swings, railings and bicycles. Despite the unusual nature of some of the incidents, the Service is keen to stress that people should always call 999 in the case of a genuine emergency.

As the second Fifty Shades of Grey film (Fifty Shades Darker) hits cinemas Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is joining London Fire Brigade and its Fifty Shades of Red campaign to ask people to think carefully before getting themselves into sticky situations.

Paul Etches, Head of Prevention, said: “While we are always happy to help, the time and money spent on these call outs could have been used far more usefully.

“Accidents will happen, but take a second to think about what you are doing and the potential harm you are putting yourself in.”

“Regardless of how you are enjoying Valentine’s Day, take care and try not to endanger yourself. Some situations may be embarrassing, but others can be more dangerous.

“We have been called out to 75 incidents involving candles since the start of last year, so if you are lighting candles for a romantic evening in, never leave it unattended, keep them out of the reach of children and pets and always make sure they are fully extinguished.

“If you do have an emergency, please call 999 and we will, as always, turn out and assist as quickly as we can.”

People getting into a jam with rings, bracelets and watches are a common occurrence, while firefighters are also regularly called to assist people and children with their fingers trapped in household items like kettles, chairs and benches and radiators.

The most common type of call out for this type of incident is to people with rings stuck on their fingers.

Mr Etches added: "Our advice is simple: if the ring doesn't fit, don't force it on. As well as being painful, you could end up wasting emergency service time if you have to call us out."

Related article: Firefighters help man trapped in handcuffs for 24 hours