The City of Calgary introduced a modified ambulance to its fleet to accommodate patients weighing between 400 and 1,000 pounds. The "bariatric response team" aims to make moving morbidly obese patients safer for paramedics and more dignified for the patient.
The alarming number of obese patients has presented challenges for responders. On some occasions patients had to be moved in truck beds, which is unsafe and humiliating. The number of morbidly obese people in Canada has quadrupled since 1985, according to the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
The new ambulance is equipped with special air-bags and hydraulic lifts to help ease the patient into the vehicle.