Firefighters’ quick-thinking saves family heirloom from damage


Two firefighters from Horsham have been thanked for removing a ring stuck on a lady's finger using just a piece of dental floss. The technique successfully removed the ring without the need for a traditional ring cutter, much to the relief of the ring’s owner.

The ring was of great sentimental value to the 24-year-old who arrived at the station having not been able to remove it herself. It had belonged to her mother but had become stuck when her finger had swollen.

The on-duty crew at the time included firefighters Tim Taylor and Andy Shaw from Horsham’s D Watch and, when they learned of the personal importance of the jewellery, they decided to try something a little different to the traditional ring cutting tools that are held on station.

"Our first thought was to reach for the ring cutter," said Tim, "but once it became apparent the ring was of such great significance to the young woman – and she was not experiencing any pain – we decided to try something a little different.

"We managed to feed some dental floss under the ring and then wrap the floss round and round the finger from the ring to the fingertip – securing it with a little knot. Then, using the tail end which we had fed under the ring, we pulled back towards the fingertip. This prompted the ring to slowly rotate over the floss that was wrapped around the finger and move its way slowly along the floss, passed the swollen knuckle and eventually off the finger without causing any damage. The woman was not only relieved to have had the ring removed, but was thrilled that it was not cut or damaged in the process."

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Last updated:
6 February 2018

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