Wigan firefighters get more call-outs to help obese people than any other GM crews
Data has revealed that firefighters based in Wigan attend more incidents to assist in the transport and care of bariatric patients than anywhere else in the city-region.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) was called by police and paramedics to help those weighing more than 25 stone – on 41 occasions across the area.
Figures obtained from a Freedom of Information request revealed that Wigan had the highest number of these instances with 11, closely followed by Manchester with 10.
Additionally Wigan has had the highest number of these calls since 2012 totalling 32 in the last decade, with Manchester once again the second highest with 28.
The Greater Manchester region has seen an increase of 355 per cent over the last 10 years, from nine times in 2012 to 41 times in 2021.
A GMFRS spokesperson said: “Emergency services work closely together in responding to a variety of different incidents, combining expertise to keep people safe.
“In cases involving bariatric patients, where there is a threat to life, we have specialist equipment and capabilities to aid ambulance colleagues, so they are able to offer the care required.”
Data from the Active Lives Adult Survey estimates that 25.3 per cent of adults in England were living with obesity between November 2020 and November 2021. This is an increase from 24.4 per cent in 2019 to 2020 and 22.7 in 2015 to 2016.
This was also higher in the North West as 27.5 per cent of adults judged to be obese during the same period.
Wigan was estimated to have the second highest percentage of obese adults in Greater Manchester with 31.9 per cent, beaten only by Oldham with 32.4 per cent.
Paul Gately, a professor at Leeds Beckett University and CEO of MoreLife, said the rise in incidents across Greater Manchester was not surprising and a consequence of under-funding in tackling obesity.
He said: “We have seen more than 10 years of austerity and the fundamental reality is our NHS has been underfunded for those years.
“Action to tackle obesity is going down, investment is going down and there is no action for people who suffer from obesity.”