Firefighters not equipped to move the fat

Feb. 22, 2008 at 1:43 PM
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GRANGEMOUTH, Scotland, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- A union leader has complained about firefighters having to make four visits in one week to move an obese man in Scotland.

Robert Marsden, who lives in Grangemouth near Stirling, weighs about 575 pounds. On one occasion, 10 firefighters were called to his home to move him from one side of his bed to the other, the Telegraph reports.

Gordon McQuade of the Fire Brigades Union said that fire crews don't have lifts or other special equipment to handle overweight people. He said firefighters risk injuring their backs.

"Firefighters will always attend to help out in medical emergencies. We have no problem with that," he said. "But when you tie up two fire engines and 10 firefighters to move someone 2 feet across a bed you have to ask, should we be doing that in case other incidents come in?"

The union wants the National Health Service to provide its own on-call crews equipped with lifts for the morbidly obese.

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