New Mexico Department Unveils Bariatric Units - News - @ JEMS.com


New Mexico Department Unveils Bariatric Units

Bernalillo County shows first of three new units being purchased


 
 

DAN MCKAY, Albuquerque Journal | | Monday, January 14, 2013


As the obesity rate grows, Bernalillo County firefighters now have a gurney that can handle even the heftiest of patients - up to 1,600 pounds.

The county's Fire and Rescue Department on Thursday showed off the first of three bariatric rescue units it's purchasing.

They're the first of their kind in the metropolitan area, the county said.

The ambulance-like units feature a heavy-duty gurney that's twice as wide as standard ones, and a rampand-winch system can pull the gurney into the rescue unit.

The current gurneys can handle patients up to 600 pounds.

Fire officials can't say how many patients exceed the 600 pounds, but they say the new gurney will help transport all large patients because of the winch.

County Commission Chairwoman Maggie Hart Stebbins said the equipment will make transportation safer for both the patients and the firefighters who lift them into the unit.

More than a third of adults in the United States are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"That's an issue our firefighters have to deal with every day," Hart Stebbins said in an interview. "There is a need for specialized equipment."

The vehicles cost about $254,000, only $4,000 more than a regular rescue unit. They will be put into regular service, so they'll get plenty of work regardless of how often firefighters encounter a large patient who warrants the larger gurney.

"It's not just sitting there in case we have a bariatric emergency," said Larry Gallegos, a spokesman for the county fire department.

He wouldn't predict how many patients will end up needing the system.

It "could be one a week, a month," Gallegos said.

The first of the bariatric rescue units will be housed at Station 33 on Barcelona SW, though it will be available elsewhere if needed. The North Valley will receive a similar unit later this year, and the East Mountains will get one in 2014.

Gallegos said the purchases are part of the county's regular program for replacing rescue units.

The heavy-duty gurneys will be helpful for large patients, even ones who aren't necessarily obese, Gallegos said.



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, bariatric patients, bariatric ambulances

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

FEBRUARY 25-28, 2015

Baltimore Convention Center
Baltimore, Maryland USA
THE SHOW IS OPEN!

THURSDAY SNOW FLURRIES


 

 

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Advancement

This is the seventh year of the EMS 10 Innovators in EMS program, jointly sponsored by Physio-Control and JEMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Wesleyan Students Hospitalized for Overdose

11 students transported to local hospitals.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Denver Medic's Family Says Job Stress Contributed to Suicide

Veteran of over 25 years took her own life after a call.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Denver First Responders Join to Remember Paramedic

Veteran medic took her own life after fatal accident.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

22nd Anniversary of WTC Bombing

Remembering the first terror attack.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On March 2015

Here’s a look at this month’s product hands on.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

15 Injured in New Jersey Explosion

Blast captured on dash cam during Stafford Township gas leak.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >