The number of severely obese people having to be rescued by firefighters is rising rapidly.
The latest numbers show 53 bariatric assists were carried out by Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service in 2018.
That was up from 34 the previous year and 19 the year before that.
Fire services began recording figures for bariatric assists in 2012, when there were only five such incidents in Leicestershire.
The rescues often involve assisting paramedics in getting a sick obese person out of their home so they can be taken to hospital.
Such rescues can involve the use of lifting equipment, special slings, and sometimes the removal of windows, walls and banisters.
Of the incidents that occurred in 2018, two of them saw between four and six fire and rescue vehicles called to the scene, while six incidents required between 10 and 19 personnel in attendance.
While they typically took less than an hour to deal with, one incident saw firefighters having to spend more than four hours rescuing an obese person.
A survey by Leicester City Council in 2018 estimated that half of the citys population of over-16s was overweight, with 19 per cent of the total population being classed as not just overweight but also obese.
Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said: It is of huge concern that these call-outs to rescue morbidly obese people are increasing and that these numbers will show no sign of abating for many years.
Even if Boris Johnson's war on fat, gets off to a successful start, this extreme obesity will be with us for at least a decade.
What is more concerning, however, is that while the fire crews are assisting the NHS by ferrying these individuals to hospital, they will be unavailable to fulfil their day job in putting out fires and rescuing people in real life or death situations.
"That will be a national tragedy."
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The bariatric assist figures come against a backdrop of a rising number of call outs to non-fire incidents more generally.
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service attended a total of 3,185 non-fire incidents in 2018 - up from 2,987 the year before, and the highest number recorded since at least 2012, when they attended 1,691.
Meanwhile, the latest figures show there are the equivalent of 470 full time firefighters employed by the service - a drop of 29 per cent since 2012.
Nationally, bariatric assists are still relatively rare, but the number has been increasing significantly over the past decade.
Firefighters across England were called out to 1,209 bariatric assists in 2018 - up from 1,029 the year before, and more than double the 587 seen just three years earlier in 2015.
There were just 429 of these call outs in 2012 and the number has been rising year on year.
At the same time, services across England attended a total of 162,253 non-fire incidents in 2018 - down from 172,612 the year before, but up from 125,239 in 2014.
The number of firefighters is at a record-low nationally, having dropped from 39,684 full time firefighters in 2012, to 32,171 in March this year.
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