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A unique garland from steel rings

Fire Force comes to the rescue of people unable to remove cheap Chinese rings

The Fire and Rescue Station at Malappuram has a unique garland made of steel rings. The fire officers there made the garland

to send home a message against wearing the Chinese steel ring. All the rings in the garland were removed by them after they had been stuck on the fingers of youngsters.

Rings getting stuck on fingers may be too common; but making garlands out of them should evoke a special interest. People are increasingly depending on the State Fire and Rescue Services to remove the rings stuck on their fingers.

“The incidence of rings getting stuck has increased with the arrival of cheap Chinese steel rings,” said Abdul Gafoor M., Malappuram Fire and Rescue Station Officer. “We warn the people against using the Chinese rings.”

People with rings stuck on their fingers reach the fire station as the last resort. First they try their best using their own methods,

including soap and oil. With the swollen fingers, frustration too adds up, causing severe pain and skin scrape. People approach goldsmiths, blacksmiths and even home appliance shops seeking relief, before turning to hospitals. Hospitals too often fail in removing the rings, and they seek the help of the firemen finally.

“People come to us as a last resort. There were cases when we were called in by the medical colleges in Kozhikode and Manjeri,” said Mr. Gafoor.

The Malappuram Fire Station gets two dozen stuck-ring cases a month on an average. “We even handled up to four cases on a single day,” said Mr. Gafoor. No exaggeration. Other fire stations across the State too are getting such cases. “When they store the removed rings in bottles, we make garlands out of them,” laughed Mr. Gafoor.

He said China-made steel rings were extremely tough and they would get easily stuck on fingers. The firemen would first try the popular method of using a cotton thread to remove the rings. If it does not work, they would attempt with a small indigenous cutter. “It is easy to remove gold rings, because gold bends. But the Chinese steel rings are a real cause for worry,” said Mr. Gafoor.

Chinese rings are cheap and attractive with a wide variety of models. Youngsters, especially college students, are increasingly found to be having a fancy for the steel rings.

Apart from specialising on finger-stuck rings, the firemen also get their regular dose of curious and freak cases: such as children

getting their heads stuck in pots, fingers in idli moulds, and even in pencil-holder of protractors.

“People come to us even at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. with unbearable pain. And the joy they have when we help them remove their hardship is immeasurable,” said Mr. Gafoor. Excited, people sometimes shower them with sweets.

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