West Yorkshire firefighters called out more than 200 times to remove objects - including seven sets of handcuffs - from people

Callouts for firefighters to remove objects from people in West Yorkshire have hit a record high, figures show.

Thursday, 7th May 2020, 5:00 pm

Home Office data reveals firefighters in the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service were called 219 times to remove an object from someone in 2018-19 – the highest number on record and an increase of 28 from 2017-18.

Callouts of this kind were at their lowest in 2010-11, when West Yorkshire's fire crews were called 122 times to remove objects.

The most common reason is typically to remove a wedding ring – resulting in 105 callouts in West Yorkshire in 2018-19 – while releasing objects trapping limbs is the second most frequent reason, with 63 incidents in that year.

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Callouts for firefighters to remove objects from people in West Yorkshire have hit a record high, figures show.

West Yorkshire firefighters also had to remove handcuffs seven times in 2018-19.

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 callouts of this kind in 2018-19. Of those, 2,995 were attended in West Yorkshire.

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

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.

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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.

"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.

"Fire-related calls still remain the biggest concern."