Fire brigade dealing with weekly call outs to lift obese people

© Michaelpuche | Dreamstime.com - Fire Service. Photo-2The London Fire Brigade is called to helps lift a severely obese person in their home at least once a week.

Data published by the brigade for the past three financial years shows that fire officers were involved in more than 200 incidents which are referred to as assisting bariatric people.

This type of incident is not formally recorded by the LFB but classified as ‘other services’, as are animal rescues.  They are identified by the call information and messages transmitted during the incidents.

The numbers for the past three financial years are consistent and fairly evening spread across London.  The largest number of incidents was recorded in Croydon.

The majority of calls came from the Ambulance Service who needed help to deal with someone who was too heavy to lift.   In other incidents fire officers have rescued a person who became wedged in a bath and others trapped in cars or buses.

In a small number of call outs fire officers have helped lift people in hospitals and nursing homes.

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See also

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How the obesity rate doubled for the class of 2007

Size matters – and it depends where you live

Obese copyLondon has a lower rate of adult obesity than any other region of England but there are large variations across the capital. 19.6% of Londoners are obese compared to the average for England of 23%. That goes up to a little over 25% in Yorkshire, Humberside and the North East.

But levels are even higher in some London boroughs as the map below shows.  Barking and Dagenham has 32% obesity and City of London 31%. That’s nearly three times the level in Kensington and Chelsea with 11.2%. Richmond also scores well with just 12.1% of residents classified as obese. It is double that in Hillingdon, Enfield, Bexley and Lewisham.

The data is based upon the Health Survey for England, the Sport England Active Person Survey and BMI information from the Understanding Society study for Health England.

Obesity is measured using the Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters. The NHS’s easy calculator is here. A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal, healthy weight. Below 18.5 is underweight, above 25 is overweight and 30 and above is obese.

Londoners also score well when looking at that data for people at a normal, healthy weight. In London it’s 41% compared to 35% of people across England. And in Kensington and Chelsea, Richmond, and Hammersmith and Fulham 50% of people or more are in this category.

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