Tyne and Wear fire fighters rescuing more obese people

Tyne and Wear Fire Brigade have rescued 17 people in the last year who are too large to move on their own.

Monday, 19th September 2016, 11:07 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 1:13 pm
Tyne and Wear Fire Brigade have been called to a number of incidents where they had to rescue obese people.

The figures, obtained by a Freedom of Information Request to the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, have shown the number of such rescues, known as Bariatric rescues, has remained high over the years.

In a four year period from 2012 to 2016 the fire service rescued a total of 86 people who were too overweight to move themselves.

The highest number of cases reported in that time was 29 in the years 2013/2014.

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Many incidents include helping an obese person stand after they had fallen.

Figures obtained from the BBC, have shown that across the country there were more than 900 incidents in the UK in the past year, with crews having to use lifting equipment- including special slings- to rescue people.

In 2012, a new category, called Bariatric rescues, was created for the fire and rescue services to report incidents involving obese patients.

Figures from all 50 UK fire and rescue services show the number of such rescues have increased from 709 in 2012-13 to 944 in 2015-16.

The cases recorded included helping the ambulance service with lifting equipment to remove an "extremely large" patient who had been stuck on the sofa for days and carrying a 40-stone man from the upstairs of a pub.

A number of incidents also involved helping with the removal of a deceased obese person from their home to an undertaker's ambulance.