A road in Hove was closed for a bariatric rescue this afternoon (Saturday 28 January).
Bariatric rescues involve helping or moving obese patients, especially if they become stuck in their home.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service sent three fire engines to close a stretch of Davigdor Road while a woman was helped from a property in the street.
Bariatric rescues have become increasingly common in the past few years, with the fire service carrying out more than one a month on average – many of them in Brighton and Hove.
They have become a separate category in official statistics as Britain’s obesity crisis has grown.
Nationally the number of bariatric rescues rose from 709 in 2012-13 to 944 in 2015-16, according to reports from all 50 of Britain’s fire and rescue services.
Firefighters often have to use specialist equipment, including special slings, and have had to remove windows, walls or fittings such as bannisters.
It has spent more than half a million pounds on specialist ambulances and equipment and given hundreds of paramedics specialist training.
One of Britain’s leading bariatric surgeons, David Kerrigan, has been quoted by the BBC as saying people who become severely obese “are prisoners not just within their own body but within their own home”.
Dr Kerrigan said: “The bigger and bigger they get the less confident they feel about engaging with the outside world.”
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