Firefighters called on 25 times to ‘remove objects from people’ last year
Firefighters in Suffolk have been called to remove objects from people on 25 occasions last year, figures have revealed.
While most call-outs involved fighting fires for the year ending December 2019, about a quarter of incidents were not fire related but required the specialist services of Suffolk’s crews.
The number of fires attended by Suffolk Fire and Rescue fell from 1,912 to 1,541 in a year, while attendance at non-fire incidents rose slightly from 1,020 to 1,079, according to Home Office figures.
A 12% fall in fires attended across the country was largely driven by a drop in secondary fires resulting from the hot, dry summer of 2018.
Like the rest of the country, Suffolk has seen a general decline in the total number of fires attended by Suffolk crews since the 4,048 call-outs of 2003/04.
Chimney fires fell to their lowest level since records began 20 years ago (73), while the rate of vehicle fires has fallen by more than 70% from 654 to 185.
False alarms accounted for 2,011 call-outs last year – largely caused by faulty apparatus, with just 50 put down to malicious intent.
But the number of non-fire incidents rose to the highest level since first recorded in 2009/10.
About half of non-fire incidents were road traffic collisions or assistance for other agencies, with firefighters called upon to collaborate with partners almost 10 times as often as a decade ago.
On 25 occasions, Suffolk firefighters were called to help the ‘removal of objects from people’ – an increase of two compared to the previous year.
Crews were also called to release 13 people stuck in lifts, 80 trapped animals, 51 trapped people and 26 water rescues.
Last October, a fire crew from Princes Street station, in Ipswich, were called to reports of a ring becoming lodged on someone’s finger at a property in Hadleigh.
In July, the fire service was called to the Landseer Road area of Ipswich after paramedics struggled with a ring lodged on a patient’s finger.
Firefighters are typically called to remove rings when other emergency services have tried with their equipment but stronger cutters are needed.
Between 2009 and 2019, Suffolk firefighters were called to remove objects from people on 222 occasions.
Suffolk County Council has been asked for comment on the figures.
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