New emergency equipment aids obese patients in Wisconsin

The Janesville Fire Department has upgraded its technology and equipment to better help overweight patients and reduce the risk of injury to emergency responders.

The Janesville Gazette reports that Janesville ambulances are equipped with power-assisted stretchers that lower and lift. They can be attached to devices in ambulance beds that make helping patients into the vehicles less strenuous.

Fire department employees say they’re responding more often to calls involving obese patients, but that their new equipment isn’t always enough.

Janesville Fire Chief Randy Banker says that on rare occasions, helping an obese patient comes down to raw physical strength or unconventional methods.

Firefighter and paramedic Nick Kettle says it has already been determined that a wall will have to be removed if a 700-pound Beloit resident who lives at home should ever need aid.