NEARLY £4,000 has been spent by the county’s fire service lifting or moving severely obese people in the last five years.

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Since 2007 nine bariatric patients have been helped by Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, at a cost of £395 for each call out. The cost of deploying a crew under the special service policy to the incidents cost the fire service £3,555 before VAT.

The figures were released following a Freedom of Information request.

There were two incidents last year, three in 2009, two in 2008, and one in 2010 and 2007.

The statistics come as health experts at Live Well Suffolk reveal 22.9 per cent of adults and 15.7pc of children in Suffolk are currently classed as obese.

And with an obesity epidemic looming, there are concerns that the volume of incidents of the fire service being called out to deal with bariatric patients will increase.

A Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service is very rarely called to support the ambulance service with bariatric patients and we only respond when life is endangered and the services’ technical skills are required.

“Our firefighters may be required to manually lift patients but also to use our cutting or lifting equipment to more or free them.”

In its 2012 annual report, NHS Suffolk revealed currently 22 in 100 children at five years old are overweight or obese in the county.

At age ten, 30 in 100 children are overweight or obese.

The report revealed only 26pc of men and 21pc of women exercise to the recommend level.

n To find out more about how you can lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle visit www.livewellsuffolk.org.uk

n What do you make of the figures? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk

6 comments

  • I find it interesting that this isn't just a comment on some passive news release, but that this newspaper have actively sought this information under the Freedom of Information Act and then made it the subject of a story. What do the Evening Star have against overweight people that they don't seem have have against the thieves, muggers and general nuisances that they seem to passively report on rather than directly target like this?

    Report this comment

    Sam

    Friday, November 16, 2012

  • This is totally unacceptable. How do people have the audacity to get in this state then the tax payers hard earned money has to literally 'dig them out' of the hole they are in !!!!

    Report this comment

    the opinion man

    Thursday, November 15, 2012

  • eadt get a grip so we now pick on the large how much has been spent on car drivers causing accidents smokers smoking, drinkers drinking ,kids on skateboards,im sure we are all guilty in some way of wasting tax payers money?

    Report this comment

    ipsjohn

    Friday, November 16, 2012

  • I conclude that I will fit into the 22.9% considered "obese" but it is not that I am inactive, I am just too short for my weight.

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    The original Victor Meldrew

    Thursday, November 15, 2012

  • Sensationalist again...£4000 is pretty much nothing these days. What percentage of the fire brigade's total budget is this? Especially considering that actually (since it is over 5 years) it is only £800 a year. How much money do the fire brigade waste putting out house fires caused by smokers?

    Report this comment

    George

    Thursday, November 15, 2012

  • Sir Thomas Thumb

    Friday, November 16, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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