When fire crews say they have seen it all, they really mean it. From freeing man’s genitals from his titanium chastity belt to rescuing a woman wedged in a vending machine, London firefighters have revealed their most bizarre call-outs.
Last year London Fire Brigade were called to 417 incidents involving people stuck in objects, machinery or furniture. An embarrassed man who turned up at hospital with a ring stuck on his penis had to be cut free by 10 firefighters, according to records it took firefighters 20 minutes to remove the ring after staff at Queen Elizabeth hospital, Woolwich, were unable to prise it from the man’s genitals. This was just one of three incidents in which firefighters were called to remove a ring stuck on a penis between April 2010 to May 2011
In 2008 Kingston firefighters were called to the home of a red-faced man in Ham who had his genitals stuck in titanium chastity belt. Crew Manager Brennan Healy said at the time: ‘He was very embarrassed about the situation. He was very apologetic and seemed to be wishing he was not there.
‘He had spent all day trying to get it off and was at the end of his tether.’ In October firefighters were called in to rescue a man trapped in a fourth-storey flat window. Crews from Kingston and Surbiton were called to the embarrassing incident in Crescent Road, Kingston, when the man got his head caught trying to get into a small bathroom window.
Just last week a video of Danielle Morgan, who had to be freed after getting stuck in a clothes horse, highlighted the bizarre jobs fire crews attend. The university undergraduate had been ‘mucking about’ in her flatmate Lisa Smith’s bedroom when she fell off the bed. In a freak turn of events the 18-year-old then knocked over a nearby clothes horse which landed on her, with the narrow rails trapping her by the head and shoulders. In desperation she called a friend to explain her predicament. Despite her best efforts and desperate attempts by her flatmate, Miss Morgan just could not free herself.
Dressed in her pyjamas and dressing gown, she was forced to call on staff at her hall of residence at the University of Derby. Miss Morgan wrote on Facebook shortly after the incident: ‘Having four hunky firemen and two paramedics come to my rescue! What a way to spend a Sunday night. I feel like I’ve been stuck in a clothes horse for an hour!’
Other incidents include a man becoming stuck in a child’s toy car in Kingston-upon-Thames, a teenager getting wedged in an ironing board, and in Barking a person getting their fingers stuck in a DVD player
Several children were attended to with toilet seats and potties stuck on their heads while 36 people had to be freed from handcuffs. The removal of rings from fingers accounted for 160 incidents, while 74 people had ‘other’ objects removed.
Dave Brown, the fire service’s assistant commissioner for operations and mobilising, said: ‘You would not believe some of the incidents we are called to deal with -people manage to get themselves trapped in some very weird and wonderful places. ‘But there is a serious side to this, these incidents are time-consuming, costly and take up the precious time of our crews who are then unavailable to attend other, potentially life-threatening, emergencies. ‘We ask the public to take greater care to avoid getting themselves into these often ridiculous situations and to think carefully before dialling 999 and calling us out if there is not an emergency.