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Firefighters save child's finger from challenging washer

Officials say it is a rare occurrence, but firefighters have assisted children and adults who have had their fingers or limbs trapped in vending machines, park swings and other tight spaces in the past.
2018-05-10 firefighters washer
A washer removed from a child's finger by firefighters. Photo/ Ottawa Fire Services

Ottawa Fire Services is reminding residents that if you get a finger, hand or limb stuck in a tight space, feel free to call them for help.

Crews were called at 7:50 a.m. on Thursday to assist a 6-year-old who had slipped a washer over their finger. 

The washer was stuck below the child's knuckle due to swelling, so after several attempts to free the finger were unsuccessful, the kid's parents contacted emergency services.

Firefighters arrived and used side cutters and a specialized Dremel tool kit to remove the flat washer. Fire officials have removed a number of rings in the past, but said this washer proved more challenging because of its flat and wide surface. With some encouragement from responders and with ample courage, the 6-year-old was freed of the washer at 8:14 a.m., uninjured.

It is a rare occurrence, but in the past firefighters have assisted children and adults who have had their fingers or limbs trapped in vending machines, park swings and other tight spaces. Although these emergencies are often not life threatening, the service said the people involved often experience significant discomfort. 

Ottawa Fire Dispatchers get all kinds of requests, and want residents to know that firefighters have a number of tools should you ever find yourself in a similar predicament.  
 





Mike Vlasveld

About the Author: Mike Vlasveld

Mike Vlasveld, Digital Editor, CityNews Ottawa & the Valley
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