Fire crews go to the add of over weight residents

Suffolk: Fire service spends £4,000 going to aid of severely obese residents in five years

Thursday, November 15, 2012
10.13 AM

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

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