Bariquins' Newsletter for Winter 2020

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Welcome to the latest edition of the quarterly


In this newsletter:

  • Numerous Press Reports of People Living with Obesity Requiring Extrication by Fire & Rescue Services
  • Obesity and HGV Drivers
  • Barry & Benny's Round-Up

Please scroll down for more details.



Numerous Press Reports of

People Living with Obesity

Requiring Extrication by

Fire & Rescue Services

Since our last newsletter, there have been several newspaper articles regarding the extrication of people living with severe obesity. These rescues have been carried out by different Fire & Rescue Services. And not just in the UK. We thought that we would outline them here as they were mainly covered by newspapers local to where they occurred.

Our first article refers to the extrication of a person weighing 50 stones (700 pounds or 317kg) by Surrey Fire & Rescue Service. The seven hour operation involved 30 firefighters and began by removing the window of his 3rd floor bedroom. A crane was then used to lift the patient out so that he could be transferred to hospital for medical treatment. More details of the undertaking can be read here.

Our next article references the increasing number of 'bariatric assists' carried out by Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service. Their workload has increased from 5 such rescues in 2016/17, to 11 in 2017/18 and then up to 16 in 2018/19. A more than 3-fold increase in 3 years, against 'a backdrop of a rising number of call-outs to non-fire incidents more generally, at the same time as firefighter numbers are reduced'. More details of this report can be found here.  

Over in Cheshire, their Fire & Rescue Services have also found a similar increase to calls to bariatric assists. Their numbers have risen to 30 bariatric assists in 2018/19, up from 22 such assists in 2017/18, with the latest figures being double the 15 rescues seen as recently as 2015/16. The article also reports that of the incidents in 2018/19, nine saw between four and six Cheshire Fire & Rescue Services vehicles sent to the scene and 16 incidents required between 10 and 19 personnel to attend. See here for extra content.

Meanwhile, in the neighbouring area covered by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, they too, have seen an increase in bariatric assists although not on the scale of other services. Over on Merseyside, their figures have only slightly increased from 10 bariatric assists in 2017/18 to 11 in 2018/19. However, it is still the highest since recording bariatric assists began. Here is the article.

Moving over to the other side of England, there are more serious reports from the Humber region. In 2018/19, the number of bariatric assists carried out by Humberside Fire & Rescue Service was 62 for that year, up by one from the previous 12 months. In 2016/17, the figure recorded for that period was 40 assists. In the latest recorded year, in 2018/19, one incident saw up to 9 emergency vehicles called to the scene, 17 incidents required between 10 and 19 personnel in attendance, with one requiring between 20 and 29 personnel. For more information and a video about bariatric assists, see here.

Over on Teesside, Cleveland Fire & Rescue Service provided 45 bariatric assists in 2018/19, up from 37 in the previous year. Of the latest incidents, 6 saw between 4 and 6 emergency vehicles called to the scene, and 17 incidents required more than 10 personnel in attendance. On 17 occasions, firefighters in Teesside had to spend more than 4 hours at the incident. See here for more details.

Finally in this section, we leave the UK and go across the Channel to France where they too, are required to attend similar assists. 

In Perpignan, a man weighing 300kg (660 pounds or 47st) needed the services of the Sapeurs-Pompiers to assist in removing him from his first floor home in order to receive medical treatment.

Like the Surrey extrication, a crane was brought in to help with the situation. Due to concerns about the building, it was evacuated and the floor was shored to prevent collapse. The first floor wall was also cut through to allow egress and lampposts were removed to give access to the crane. More details and images of the assist are provided here.

If you are interested in undergoing any training for such bariatric assists, please contact our Training Department via


Bariquins are manufactured to a high quality and have a superior look to them, reflecting the professionalism of the organisations using them. They're practical to train with, dealing with the size and weight of a plus-size person in benign conditions. Also, quick to set up prior to training due to the system of decals and connector markings. They're even quicker to take apart after training and they store away easily too.

Only one instructor is needed to take the Bariquin to where tuition takes place; not a team of instructors (avoiding more expense every time it's used) nor a group of untrained students or an insufficient number of trained staff (preventing injury) and without the need to purchase industrial lifting equipment.

Bariquins have limbs that flex similar to a real person too and weight distribution is throughout the body and limbs, not concentrated in one heavy, unrealistic mass. Water is not required to add the weight, which avoids filling and emptying the water in situ and there's no trailing of hoses through corridors. Plus leakages and bursts are averted and water is not wasted after use.

The heaviest component of a Bariquin weighs 16kg (less than your flight suitcase). This is due to the UK Manual Handling Operations Regulations stating that the maximum weight a woman should lift to elbow height is 16kg. (That’s the regulations being gender-specific, not us.) Detachable sections also mean that amputee-based scenarios can be undertaken, adding extra realism to training.

Bariquins' mannequins are a durable piece of kit and are made in the UK. They can be used in demanding scenarios due to the impact resistant material, heavy duty fittings and robust manufacturing methods. There’s a 12 months guarantee against material defects in the Bariquins’ design, material and workmanship.

Obesity and Commercial Goods

Vehicle Drivers

Drivers of commercial goods vehicles in many countries seem to acquire a reputation for being overweight. Is this a stereotypical caricature or a true assessment of their physique? Sadly, it's the latter.

In research published in 2014 by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 69% of US truck drivers were classed as obese. Of those, 17% were classed as morbidly obese. These figures are more than twice the average among all working American adults (one-third is classed obese, 7% classed as morbidly obese). Click on the image below for more information.

The CDC study also found that driving heavy commercial vehicles is linked with other risky health behaviours. The survey found that more than half of the truckers currently smoke, compared to 19% of the general population. Also, nearly two-thirds of long-haul drivers reported having one of the following risk factors: hypertension, obesity, smoking, high cholesterol, no physical activity, and six or fewer hours of sleep per 24 hour period. A dangerous cocktail when you consider that they're driving such large vehicles, sometimes combined with hazardous contents. 


            Unfortunately, in the United Kingdom, research also confirms a similar picture. Researchers from Loughborough University with the University of Leicester and University of York found that 84% of HGV drivers were overweight or obese compared to 75% of men the same age nationally. 

Their investigation also found that HGV drivers are exposed to a multitude of health risks associated with their job, including long and variable working hours and long periods of sitting, as described here.



As the levels of obesity rise throughout the world, there will be a greater number of collisions involving people living with obesity, whether they are HGV drivers, their passengers or other road users. This will lead to further instances of complicated extrications of people living with obesity. The complexity of these rescues will be heightened if the removal of the casualty needs to be completed quickly to save lives. As findings suggest that vehicle drivers who are classed as obese are more likely to die from traffic collision-related injuries than non-obese occupants involved in the same collision, this will be more likely.


Barry & Benny's Round-Up

In this regular section, we'll be looking at news from Bariquins and other pieces of interest that have occurred since the last newsletter.
Headlines and reports that have caught our attention recently are listed here:
  • The American Heart Association report that COVID-19 patients living with obesity of all ages face higher risk of complications and death. Read more about the report here.
  • A former medical tsar says that Britain's obesity crisis has led to 50,000 Covid death. Here is the link.
  • The US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data showed that over 73% of US Adults are overweight or obese. Read more on this here.
  • A major report warns that obesity is now the new normal across the Gulf region. For more details, click here.
  • Finally, analysis of data from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 reveals the high burden of Musculoskeletal Disorders across the globe. More details here.



Until next newsletter, 



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