Ambulance officers are facing a new problem in Queensland-how to move obese patients. This is why firefighters have been called in to move those heavyweight patients. Indeed, the Queensland Ambulance Service has had to acquire bigger ambulances. They had to buy 3 new ambulances as well as 139 stair chairs in a bid to prevent injury to the paramedics.
Between July last time and April 2011, firefighters had to intervene at least 5 times a week to move disabled or obese patients. This represents an increase of about 33% compared to the previous year. This could simply be because ambulance officers were less keen to risk injury without the appropriate equipment previously.
While firefighters only seldom intervene to move obese patients, a spokesman revealed that it could prevent them from doing other more useful jobs. There has also been the case of a paramedic suing the Queensland Ambulance Service in 2009 after he was injured moving a 120kg patient.