The Bernalillo County Fire and Rescue Department is buying three gurneys capable of handling as much as 1,600 pounds to care for obese patients.
The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/UUJIZN) that county officials say these gurneys are the first of their kind in the metropolitan area.
The department already has one of the gurneys in its possession and is slated to get another later this year and a third one in 2014.
The ambulance-like units feature a heavy-duty gurney that's twice as wide as standard ones, and a ramp-and-winch system can pull the gurney into the rescue unit.
County Commission Chairwoman Maggie Hart Stebbins says the equipment will make transportation safer for both the patients and the firefighters who lift them into the unit.