Fire Rescue NSW Hunter report​, August 20

Skilled Firefighter Phil Llewellyn preparing to remove the ring.

Skilled Firefighter Phil Llewellyn preparing to remove the ring.

Fire Rescue NSW Hunter report​

The filament method saves the ring from having to be cut from the finger.

The filament method saves the ring from having to be cut from the finger.

Quick actions by firefighters stopped several small grass and bush fires from escalating into major incidents last week. On Monday, grass fires at Warners Bay and Mt Hutton were quickly extinguished by crews before strong westerly winds and dry conditions pushed flames towards houses. Senior Firefighter Chris Ranse said: “ With so little rain recently the state’s a tinderbox.” Despite dry and windy conditions, fire crews were dispatched on multiple occasions to backyard fires, where people were burning off garden waste. Backyard fires are illegal without appropriate permits.

Two car fires at Tingira Heights and Windale on Tuesday destroyed the vehicles and ignited nearby grass and bush. Crews extinguished the fires without further damage to property.

Belmont Fire Station’s Phil Llewellyn and Kevin Leadbeater performed a technical ring removal on Wednesday for a lady whose gold ring had become stuck on her finger. Using a technique known as the “filament method”, the firefighters wound a thread around the finger and through the ring. This compressed the skin and allowed the ring to be manipulated over the finger. “If the person’s finger is too swollen this technique does not usually work, and we have to resort to cutting the ring”, Firefighter Llewellyn said. “But this is the preferred option, as not only does it save a gold ring from being cut in two, it is also quicker and less stressful for the person.”   

Ralph Smith, Leading Firefighter