New Unit Provides Safe Transport for Patients Exceeding 400 Pounds

The Mifflin Township Division of Fire has placed a new Bariatric Transport Vehicle in service in Gahanna.

The vehicle, which was currently owned by the division, has been newly outfitted with a bariatric cot and equipment, estimated to cost around $20,000. The cot and equipment were donated to Mifflin Township as part of a grant acquired by the Central Ohio Trauma System (COTS). COTS acquired the grant for the purpose of aiding in transporting bariatric patients in excess of 600 lbs., the upper weight limit of a standard EMS cot.

A patient is considered to be “bariatric” when their weight exceeds 400 lbs. or their width exceeds 26 inches. The donated bariatric cot is capable of transporting patients up to 1200 lbs.

The bariatric unit, which can be used for non-bariatric patients as well, will be known as “Medical Support Unit 135” (MSU135) and will be housed at Station 131 on Rocky Fork Boulevard.

“M135 will be a valuable asset to the area, as obesity has reached epidemic proportions in central Ohio. The unit will save wear and tear on our equipment, and will be safer for our staff and the patient since the bariatric cot decreases the amount of lifting for the firefighters to get the patient into the back of the vehicle,” said Chief Tim Taylor, Mifflin Township Division of Fire. “It provides a safer, more secure ride for the patient.”

Prior to having the bariatric cot, the crew had to lift the patient into the back of the vehicle on a specially reinforced tarp, and the patient rode to the hospital on the floor of the vehicle with no way to secure them in the event of an accident.

MSU135 will be available as a regional asset to central Ohio. MSU135 joins MSU19, housed in the Clintonville area at Columbus’ Fire Station 19, along with a similarly equipped unit stationed in Delaware County.