Plymouth Ambulance has become the first squad in Montgomery County — and one of just a handful across Pennsylvania — to add a “bariatric” ambulance to its fleet to safely transport patients who are obese.

This year alone, the squad has transported nearly 100 patients weighing in excess of 300 pounds. They say that puts a strain on the men and women who respond to those calls and on the equipment they use to transport the patient.

Plymouth Ambulance chief of operations Thomas Trojansky says this new vehicle is designed to carry a patient weighing up to 1,600 lbs.:

“It has a ramp system on it with a winch, which helps load patients when there’s just a dual provider crew.  Cost is a little bit more, but in the long run that cost should be balanced out by man-hours saved through back injuries and wear and tear on equipment.”

The unit costs about $120,000. It will be in service in Plymouth’s 42-square-mile coverage area, and they will make it available to their sister ambulance squads in Montgomery County.

Story Contributor: Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio