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Firefighters warn people about new social media ‘craze’ after teenagers get stuck in swings

London Fire Brigade have again warned teenagers about the potential dangers of a social media craze which sees them forcing themselves into toddlers’ swings and getting stuck.

They reminded everyone about the potential dangers today (27 December) as part of a year in review.

Twelve of this year’s incidents took place last month, including one at a play area in Sutton when crews helped a person out of swing in a park while being filmed by a group of teenagers the brigade said.

In May this year, firefighters in Ruislip were called to a park to assist a 14-year-old girl who was stuck in a swing.

The crew had to dismantle the swing and then use pressure to expand it around where the girl was stuck so they could rescue her.

On that occasion they were able to reassemble the swing and the teenager was fortunately uninjured.

Firefighters from Ruislip Fire Station’s Green Watch who attended the job said they were conscious they were being filmed by the girl’s friends but they hadn’t previously been aware of the challenge.

Twelve of this year’s incidents took place last month, including one at a play area in Sutton when crews helped a person out of swing in a park while being filmed by a group of teenagers.

Crews will sometimes be able to get the person out without using cutting equipment, but they sometimes do have to, resulting in a damaged swing which then has to be replaced.

The phenomenon started last year but firefighters have noticed it sweeping the UK again in recent weeks and a number of other fire and rescue services have spoken out the brigade said.

The Brigade’s Assistant Commissioner for Fire Stations, Jane Philpott, said: “Our firefighters attend a wide variety of challenging incidents and far be it from us to judge the precarious positions some people find themselves in.

“But in their quest for TikTok fame, people have been potentially diverting our crews from more serious incidents and that isn’t something we want to see.

“Each job our firefighters do attend takes time and we are hoping to prevent further call outs to such incidents by issuing this warning.

“We would ask people to please just think twice before taking part in this challenge – think of the injuries you could cause yourself, the damage to the swings which have to be cut apart and most of all the fact you’re tying up resources which could be needed for a genuine emergency.

“It might be a fun story for your friends, but wasting the time of emergency services is serious.”

Source: London Fire Brigade