FIRE crews in West Yorkshire have been called in to help lift dozens of people who were too heavy for ambulance workers.
Since 2005, West Yorkshire crews has completed 86 so-called ‘bariatric assists’, usually involving people weighing more than 20 stone. Bariatric is the medical term for obesity.
Cleckheaton, Batley, Elland and Marsden firefighters have all been involved assisting Yorkshire Ambulance Service this year.
Now some of the Huddersfield area incidents have now been revealed in a Freedom of Information request by the Examiner.
It shows that firefighters from Huddersfield station have been called in to aid rescuing obese patients seven times in the past seven years.
Incident logs from the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) provided to The Examiner reveal a range of circumstances for firefighters to be needed.
In April this year five firefighters from Cleckheaton were flagged down by a 58-year-old woman whose mobility scooter had become stranded in the middle of the road.
The woman had been sitting in the cold for more than half-an-hour after the road legal scooter ran out of power as she manoeuvred round a parked car.
Firefighters pushed the scooter to the kerb and assisted lifting her into an ambulance after the woman claimed she had no money for a taxi or relatives to help her.
Also in April this year, Cleckheaton firefighters, covering for Elland, used cutting equipment, timber and nail guns to rescue an overweight Halifax pensioner.
The incident to assist the 64-year-old woman required two fire engines and 10 firefighters and lasted almost two hours.
Last August volunteer firefighters from Marsden were called to help lift a 50-year-old woman who had collapsed in her home.
Firefighters from Batley were also required to lift a collapsed male from the upper floors of a flat complex last April.
In January 2010, Huddersfield firefighters were called to lift a patient from his flat to an ambulance and in March that year, two engines from the Castlegate station and one from Elland were required to lower a 63-year-old male with serious injuries from an upper floor of his home using rescue lines and a spinal board.