Elgin wants ambulance to hold 700-pound patients

ELGIN, Ill. (AP) — The Elgin City Council plans to consider upgrading an ambulance so it can transport patients who weigh up to 700 pounds.

Fire Chief John Fahy tells The Courier-News (http://bit.ly/1726vom) that patients weighing 500 pounds or more are becoming more common. The city council will discuss the issue on Wednesday. It will cost about $32,000 to update an existing ambulance to handle heavier patients. The ambulance would have extra-wide interiors, modified stretchers and specialized lifting gear.

Elgin city officials say they expect fewer work-related injuries for the fire department if the council approves the purchase.

Councilman Richard Dunne retired last year after 25 years with the Elgin Fire Department. He says an ambulance was called at least once a week to transport a patient weighing about 500 pounds.

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Information from: The Courier News, http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com

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