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16 Fla. firefighters needed to move 750-pound patient

It took a bariatric litter, a bariatric rig and a lot of manpower to move the patient experiencing a medical emergency

By Emily Miller
The Sun Sentinel

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. — Sixteen people were needed Friday night to maneuver a nearly 750-pound patient out of his Deerfield Beach home and into a bariatric transport vehicle.

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue received a call just after 6:30 p.m. about a patient reported to be in excess of 600 pounds who was having a medical issue and needed to be taken to the hospital, said Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles. A battalion chief, two fire engines, a squad, a technical rescue team and two bariatric transport units responded to the home in the 4700 block of Northwest Sixth Avenue.

“We needed the extra manpower for lifting,” Jachles said. He said typical medical calls require two to six rescue personnel, depending on the case.

It took the rescue personnel 45 minutes to safely carry the patient through his home and out the front door, Jachles said.

“No structure modification was needed,” he said. “They were able to use a special lifting litter to maneuver the patient out of the residence.”

Once the rescuers reached the front door, the patient was transferred onto a bariatric stretcher, loaded into a bariatric transport vehicle and taken to Broward Health Medical Center. Bariatric equipment is specially designed to transport morbidly obese patients.

This is not the first time the Broward Sheriff’s Office bariatric transport unit has been needed, Jachles said.

“We have seen an increase in the number of bariatric calls,” he said. “That’s the one thing when we encounter calls like this -- we need a lot of manpower.”


(c)2014 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

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