A quick-acting team of emergency responders used a high-speed diamond cutter to remove a seat belt stuck to a child's finger in Northern Fairfield County.
It happened Friday night, Sept. 13. New Fairfield Fire and EMS requested mutual aide from the Danbury Fire Department for a 5-year-old boy with a finger stuck in the seat belt buckle from his school bus.
Rescue 1 responded with Car 30 to meet the ambulance at the Danbury Hospital Emergency Room.
Upon arrival, Rescue 1 set up its equipment in the ER and when the patient arrived they made several attempts to remove the buckle with oil, ice, by wrapping the finger with string to try and slip the buckle off, and with a standard ring cutter tool, to try and remove the buckle the safest way possible.
Due to the length of time of the entrapment, there was significant edema in the soft tissue of the involved finger.
"The patient and his father were advised that we would have to remove the hardened steel buckle with our Dremel tool using a high-speed diamond cutter," Danbury FD Communications Coordinator James Gagliardo said. "The patient was shown the tool and the procedure was explained to him.
"One firefighter worked the tool while another firefighter held and protected the finger with a safety guard. Additional firefighters sprayed a constant supply of water on the cutter and the buckle to keep the metal from overheating.
"The cutting procedure took about 15 minutes to complete, but the buckle was removed without injury to the patient’s finger or hand.
"Last report was that the patient was going to keep the buckle parts as a souvenir from his ordeal, Gagliardi said. "The Danbury Fire Department is looking forward to a visit from our patient and his family for a tour of the firehouse and maybe some ice cream."
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