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Manitoba mom praises quick-thinking fire department for freeing daughter stuck in playground equipment

Fire crews in Lorette, Man. working to help free an eight-year-old from a playground structure on April 14, 2024. (Keanna Deslauriers) Fire crews in Lorette, Man. working to help free an eight-year-old from a playground structure on April 14, 2024. (Keanna Deslauriers)
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A Manitoba mother is praising firefighters for their quick work in helping her daughter who got stuck at a playground in Lorette, Man.

Keanna Deslauriers said her eight-year-old daughter Nevaeh was playing at a school playground on Sunday afternoon in the small town southeast of Winnipeg.

While playing, she climbed up into part of the structure and got stuck.

"I guess Nevaeh wiggled on in there to the point where she was a little pretzel," said Deslauriers.

She said she tried to help her daughter, but to no avail.

The fire department was called and first on scene was RM of Tache Fire Chief Allan Rau.

"It was a drum-type play structure, a hard plastic unit, and she got herself wedged up in the top part of the drum. I tried to before the rest of the crew arrived, I tried to assist her in getting out, but that was not happening," said Rau.

He said Nevaeh climbed to the highest point of the drum – which was a bit wider than the entrance – but once she tried to get out, she couldn't move.

"She brought her legs both up and one was really high by her head, and she just could not get herself out anymore. She sunk a little bit once she got up there and (was) unable to free herself."

Once the rest of the crew arrived, they got to work cutting and pulling apart the plastic, eventually freeing Nevaeh.

"She was scared of what was going on, and then, of course, when we started up our little reciprocating saw to make a relief cut, that scared her even more. We tried to keep her calm, we gave her a little teddy bear, which we hold in our trucks for whenever we're involved with any children," Rau said.

Nevaeh holding the little teddy bear she was given by the Tache Fire Department while they worked free her from the playground on April 14, 2024. (Keanna Deslauriers)

After about 15 minutes of being stuck, Rau said Nevaeh was freed and unharmed.

The fire chief said calls like this are uncommon, but a couple of years ago, they dealt with a similar incident where a girl was stuck in a baby swing and had to be cut out.

Deslauriers said she was so thankful for how fast crews worked to free Nevaeh.

"I honestly couldn't ask for a better team," said Deslauriers. "They knew right away what they had to do. There was no standing around, there wasn't any talking about it. They knew exactly what to do."

Deslauriers noted Nevaeh, more than anything, was embarrassed by the situation.

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