Boston emergency services debuted a specialized ambulance designed to carry obese patients on Tuesday, and the retrofitted vehicle was promptly needed on two calls, authorities said.
The ambulance is equipped with a special stretcher that can hold 850 pounds and a hydraulic lift with a 1,000 pound capacity, said Captain Jose Archila of Boston's Emergency Medical Services fleet.
The ambulance is likely to be needed two to four times a week, he said.
"We have seen a huge increase in the last six months," said Archila about the number of calls by obese patients.[...]
Back injuries among crews are common due to strain from lifting extremely heavy patients, he said. The ambulance makes the patients more comfortable as well.
In appearance, the ambulance looks like any other. The hydraulic lift is folded and stowed underneath the bed, and a gas tank was repositioned to accommodate it, Archila said.
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