Crews strain to help obese patients

July 31, 2009
by Michael O'Connor
Omaha World Herald

Adult obesity rates in Nebraska and Iowa have been rising.

In 2008, about 27 percent of the population in the two states was obese. That's up from 23 percent in Nebraska and 24 percent in Iowa in 2005, according to a report by Trust for America's Health, a nonprofit group that focuses on preventive health.

Lloyd Rupp, a battalion chief in the Omaha Fire Department, said his crews encounter a 400-pound-plus patient every several days. Five to 10 years ago, crews would run into such patients every couple of weeks.

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