On Tuesday at 8:30 P.M., the Chattanooga Fire Department received a call from the local Tiger Mart gas station in Hixson, Tennessee on Hixson Pike – when a woman working in the convenience store reached into a safe to deposit money but went to pull her arm out when her fingers got caught in the latch.
Head of the Chattanooga Fire Department – Lindsay Rodgers – says, “she was trying to make sure the money she deposited was secure in the machine, but then realized she couldn’t get her hand out.”
The Chattanooga Fire Department was quick to respond to the emergency.
Once firefighters arrived, they deployed a camera in the safe to figure out how to get the woman’s hand out.
The complexity of the safe gave responders no choice but to contact the company who manufactured the safe. Rescuers wanted to prevent the woman’s hand from any further harm.
The fire department then decided to take apart the front desk to make disassembling the safe easier.
The men and women on scene soon discovered that they were going to have to call in for backup to disassemble the safe. The Chattanooga Fire Department contacted Urban Search and Rescue (USR) 1 and Urban Search and Rescue 2 to bring tools that were more suitable to cut through the thick steel from the safe.
After three long hours of cutting, the back of the safe finally fell off. USR removed the safe’s internal motor where they could see the woman’s hand.
The crew was then able to safely remove the woman’s hand without any further damage.
An ambulance took the woman to a nearby hospital. Roberts reported, “Her fingers were bruised but nothing looked serious.”
Chattanooga Fire Depart received assistance from, “Quint 16, Squad 19, Squad 7, USAR 1 and 2, Car 306, Car 44, Battalion 3, and Battalion 2,” in rescuing the woman from the safe.
The Tiger Mart owner felt bad for the woman and gave her the rest of the week off to recover from her, “traumatizing,” experience, but she is still expected to return to work the following Monday.