Camden, NJ Firefighters Get the Finger

Shortly after 2:00 pm on January 28, 2003, Camden New Jersey firefighters from Engine Co. 7, Rescue 1 and Battalion 1 were dispatched to a South Camden apartment parking lot for a rescue. ( Rescue 1 members under the direction of Captain Edward Glassman had just finished up a 2 hour in-station training on the use of cutting tools for extrication.)

While the Companies were responding Fire Radio gave an update that it was reported that a woman had her finger caught in a locking device in the inside of her car and was unable to free it.

Battalion Chief Paul Matyjasik was first to arrive. He informed Fire Radio that he did have a woman with her finger lodged in a vehicle anti-thief device and that Rescue 1 would be going into service with tools to remove it. As it turned out the woman had just parked her car in front of her apartment and was about about to pull the bar up to the locking position her one finger got lodged into the gripping device and she was unable to free it. Her calls for help were heard by a neighbor who called the fire department.

Captain Glassman was now climbing into the vehicle and talking to the trapped woman. Her finger was not cut but just stuck. She was very upset and he assured her that everything would be OK and that she would be free shortly. While this was being done members of Rescue 1 with the help from Engine Co. 7's members who were now getting the cutting devices such as the Jaws of Life setup.

As Captain Glassman leaned over trying to unlock the anti-thief device the woman saw the firefighters with the huge Jaws of Life coming towards her and Captain Glassman pulled on the device and it startled her and she pulled backward and her finger popped out of the device and setting her finger free.

Camden EMS members were now on location and took the woman to their rig and checked her finger out. There was no damage and no pain and she refused hospital treatment.

She was very thankful that everything worked out alright and thanked everyone who helped her out of this embarrassing position.