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U.K. firefighters help with obese patients

Oct. 5, 2012 at 8:02 AM   |   Comments

LONDON, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Paramedics in the West Midlands region of England say they have asked firefighters to lift extremely heavy people from their homes 50 times in recent years.

The area is known as the "obesity capital of Britain," The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday.

The fire service was called out 50 times between March 2009 and August 2012 to remove obese people from their homes, often by removing a window so a person could be put in an ambulance.

Some people are removed with equipment used to lift car wrecks, paramedics said.

The West Midlands Ambulance Service has four ambulances, costing more than $145,000 each, that have been specially reinforced to transport severely overweight patients.

The West Midlands, with 29 percent of its population considered clinically obese, is the fattest region in Britain, which at 25 percent is the fattest major country in Europe, government statistics indicate.

About 14 percent of the population of the European Union is considered obese.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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