Easthampton Fire Department frees boy whose tongue was stuck to metal pole

Last modified: Saturday, February 15, 2014
EASTHAMPTON — Fire Chief David A. Mottor said that he was just starting his work day at 8 a.m. Wednesday when he heard a dispatcher radio that a White Brook Middle School student had gotten his tongue stuck to a metal pole.

“My first thought was, ‘I hope it’s not my son,’ ” Mottor said.

An ambulance responded to the school and emergency medical technicians used warm water to free the boy’s tongue from where it had frozen when he licked the pole. He was embarrassed but uninjured, Fire Capt. Kevin Benson said.

Benson said the boy told his rescuers that he did not lick the pole on a dare.

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“I think he just saw the movie and thought he’d try it,” Benson said. Movies including “The Christmas Story” and “Dumb and Dumber” have featured the tongue-stuck-to-a-pole joke.

Benson said that school staff had tried using warm water to free the boy’s tongue, but were unsuccessful, possibly because they did not use enough water.

“We asked for a pitcher of warm water, someone got it, and then we poured it onto the pole where his tongue was for 10 to 15 seconds” until it thawed enough to unstick, Benson said.

The pole in question was in front of the Park Street School, and Benson said school staff did a good job shielding the boy while he was stuck so students arriving on buses did not see him.

EMTs evaluated the boy’s tongue, called his mother to reassure her that he was fine and then sent him off to class.

Benson said it was the first time he has responded to such an incident, but Mottor recalled one other in his 20 years with the Fire Department. “It involved teenagers being foolish and a chain-link fence post,” he said.

“I wouldn’t recommend putting your tongue on anything metal for the rest of the winter,” Mottor advised.

Rebecca Everett can be reached at reverett@gazettenet.com.