A woman who got stuck in a folding chair and had to be freed by the fire department using the Jaws of Life said the entire ordeal started with her making "stuck fetish" content.
“I've done dozens of videos, and I've had times before where I've panicked and thought that I couldn't get out of something, but I've always pushed myself through it, no matter how bad it hurts,” Sydney Jo told BuzzFeed News. "I've had to unscrew things before but I've never actually been entirely stuck like that, it was honestly really scary.”
Jo, who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, made an appeal on TikTok for advice after getting trapped between a black folding chair.
“I generally pick areas that I'm pretty sure I can get out of, and I saw the chair and I was like, Oh, I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get out of that, it's going to be a tight squeeze, but I'm positive I can get out,” she said.
She said she was about 30 minutes into making the video when she realized she couldn't free herself.
“That's when I stopped recording, and kind of panicked, and went on TikTok live," she said.
The 27-year-old shared that she had been creating content for the fetish community for nine years and had grown a following for her "stuck" clips in particular. She said fans would pay $1.99 per minute to watch creators like herself place themselves in compromising positions and then get free.
“Typically they want to see you get stuck in something and actually struggle to get out, like not fake it at all,” she said. “They want to see you get unstuck at the end though — they don't want to see you permanently stuck.”
On this occasion, Jo found herself completely unable to break free and on the advice of her TikTok audience, she made a call to the fire department.
The TikTok clip, which has now been viewed more than 7 million times, shows firefighters arriving at Jo’s home. After failing to free her with bolt cutters, they change tactics and use the Jaws of Life instead.
“I was freaking out when it was behind my back, and I was, like, listening to it because I could like feel the metal like vibrating like on my bones and stuff and I was just praying to God that I wasn't gonna get like severed,” Jo said.
Following a successful rescue, Jo was able to step out of what remained of the chair and was particularly grateful to the emergency workers.
“They were super nice and calm, and they even asked me if I wanted to hold [the Jaws of Life] and, like, to try it out after, but I declined,” she said.
PennLive reported that the Ann Arbor Fire Department confirmed responding to reports of a person stuck in a chair on June 8 and that the resident was not injured in the process of being freed. A spokesperson for the fire department did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News.
Like everyone else, attending firefighters were equally curious as to how Jo managed to get herself stuck.
“I just said it was for a school project, because I happen to live on a college campus. So they believed it. I definitely didn't feel like explaining ... the stuck fetish to them I was already in panic mode.”
As the latest unintentional viral star, Jo has been “shocked” by the reactions but also humbled by the support of creators from her community.
“It blows my mind,” she said. “I've had so many people from the stuck fetish community reach out to me, saying they saw the TikTok, and they really appreciate how dedicated I am to my work so that was really cool too.”