Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/03/13/obesity_bill/
Obese cost London fire brigade £300k
Five-year bill for heavy lifting
The London fire brigade has over the past five years been called to 128 emergencies involving "excessively overweight" people trapped in "beds, baths or chairs" - at a cost of £292,992, the Evening Standard reports.
The total bill includes incidents in NHS hospitals and those involving prising the obese from their homes "when they have become too fat to walk".
The shock figure was revealed by the Tories, and Shadow health minister Mike Penning said it demonstrated "the severe strain the growing obesity epidemic is putting our emergency services under". He added the obligatory: "Labour's complacent attitude has meant that years have been wasted in our bid to deal with this problem."
The Standard notes that "a quarter of adults and 16 per cent of children are now obese". The cost in England alone of shifting heavyweights was £4m over five years, while "one fire engine a day in Britain is needed because paramedics are unable to move people".
The NHS, meanwhile, has over the past few years coughed £44m on "specialist equipment for the obese", including wider doors and reinforced lifts and operating tables in London hospitals. ®