Police, Fire & Court

Handcuffs, bowling balls and penis rings: Fire service’s word of warning after 420 calls from people in “sticky situations”

By David Prior at

Thirteen people trapped in handcuffs, six children with their heads stuck in potties and, er, three men with rings stuck on their penises.

These are just some of the sticky situations that Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) have been called out to over the past 12 months.

And now, the fire service has teamed up with London Fire Brigade’s Fifty Shades of Red campaign to give a word of caution to “adventurous types” about finding themselves trapped in red-faced situations.

Since January 2016, GMFRS crews have attended more than 420 incidents of people trapped or stuck, often in everyday household items.

Other incidents included a lady who got her thumb stuck in a bowling ball, and 264 occasions of rings getting stuck on people.

Firefighters have also rescued people stuck in swings, railings and bicycles.

The fire service has rescued 13 people stuck in handcuffs

The fire service has rescued 13 people stuck in handcuffs

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.

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.”

Paul added: “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.