Memphis ambulance equipped to carry obese patients - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis ambulance equipped to carry obese patients

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The Memphis Fire Department has added an ambulance that can accommodate patients weighing up to 1,600 pounds.

The so-called "bariatric ambulance" is equipped with a winch and an extra-large stretcher.

Deputy Fire Chief Gary Ludwig told The Commercial Appeal  that they transport patients in the 600- to 800-pound range about once a week and have seen some patients weighing more than 1,000 pounds.

Without specialized equipment, extra firefighters have to be called in to help lift and move extremely obese patients, and they often are transported on the floor of the ambulance.

In 2009, Memphis firefighters cut plywood from the wall of a house to make a makeshift stretcher for a 700-pound man.

Ludwig said the bariatric ambulance will provide patients with dignity. It also will save firefighters' backs.

Information from: The Commercial Appeal.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly