updated 3/29/2006 6:35:17 PM ET 2006-03-29T23:35:17

A Las Vegas company is putting a new extra-large ambulance into service to handle extra-large patients.

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American Medical Response calls the $250,000 rig its bariatric unit. It bought it at the request of the Clark County Fire Department.

The vehicle looks like a regular ambulance, but it’s extra-wide, and has a larger gurney, a winch and ramps capable of loading up to 1,600 pounds.

A company official said that in the last six months, AMR has handled 75 calls involving patients that weighed more than 600 pounds.

He said moving someone that large in a regular ambulance poses safety problems for the patient — and for paramedics and ambulance crew members.

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