By Wendy Dywer

Firefighters are known for rushing into burning buildings, dangerous situations, and fiery vehicular crashes, but a big potential risk is wrapped around their own fingers.

Wedding rings have been long-known to contribute to dangerous injuries for firefighters wearing them while in the line of duty.

To help keep St. Lucie County’s firefighters safe, Greg Childress of G. Alan’s Fine Jewelry & Coin, in cooperation with Jewelry Innovations, recently donated silicone rings for each firefighter in St. Lucie County and provided 17 ring cracker devices, one for each of St. Lucie County’s fire stations.

Silicone rings are soft and pliable and can be worn comfortably while working or exercising, according to Childress. More importantly for men and women who work with their hands, silicone rings can be easily removed and do not pose risk for electrocution or getting caught and causing the loss of a finger.

A ring cracker is a tool used to safely and painlessly remove rings made of modern materials like serinium (vitalium),  tungsten carbide, or ceramic. While these materials make for beautiful pieces of jewelry, they are practically impossible to remove in the way gold and silver rings of the past were removed, according to Childress.

Childress, long known for philanthropy in the community like the creation of the diamond necklace called Jewelia which has helped raise over $600,000 to benefit uninsured residents of St. Lucie County, presented the ring cracker tools to Fire Chief Nate Spera at the June 20 Fire District Board Meeting.

Active duty firefighters in St. Lucie County need only stop by G. Alan’s Fine Jewelry and Coin, 909 W. Midway Road in White City, to be sized for and pick up their free silicone band rings.