Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has announced it may introduce a fee for shifting fat people, after a sharp rise in the number of heavyweight call-outs.
According to the Telegraph, the service was last year summoned eight times to "assist other services in lifting obese patients" - double the 2004 figure. One crew had to remove a window and deploy a mechanical lift to get an "extremely obese man" to hospital.
A spokesman explained: "It is not frequent but still a regular occurrence. We are not prejudiced against these people, we are helping them."
The service stressed that the charge will be levied on "hospitals, nursing homes, the police or other agencies", and that individuals will not be expected to foot the bill.
Whether the levy will be a flat rate above a certain weight or calculated on per-pound basis is not noted. ®