The London Fire Brigade warned against a social media craze that’s been popping up on the app here and there since 2019.
According to a statement released on May 11, young people have been “forcing themselves into toddlers’ swings and getting stuck” for TikTok clout. So far this year, there have reportedly been “21 incidences of people stuck in swings.”
“Please think twice so you don’t divert our crews from more serious incidents,” the brigade wrote in a tweet warning about the trend.
“What a waste of emergency services time and the damage to park equipment too,” one social media user said.
“Says it all about our current society really,” another wrote.
The trend was at its peak in 2020, when there were 52 reports of swing removals, and there were 32 the year before. The recent resurgence has brought the total to 105 in the past two-and-a-half years. And that’s just in London.
The London Fire Brigade was reportedly called to assist a teenage girl who was trapped in a swing on May 1. The crew dismantled the swing and then expanded it with pressure to free her. Fortunately, she was not injured, and the swing made a full recovery.
There were 12 similar incidents in April.
“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,” said Jane Philpott, the brigade’s assistant commissioner for fire stations, according to a statement. “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.”
She noted that the swing incidents might be “a fun story for your friends,” but said they are “tying up resources which could be needed for a genuine emergency.”
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