After a man who weighed nearly 500 pounds died in a home in Silver Spring, several teams of Montgomery County first responders—including police, rescue and hazmat crews—were required to remove his body, WUSA 9 reported.
The man was in his fifties and died Wednesday of natural causes, according to
WUSA 9, which reported after his roommate found him Saturday, crews had to cut a hole in the roof, then lower a pulley so they could hoist the body up on a stretcher.
Responding to heavier patients requires more personnel, emergency officials say. An extra set of hands is needed for every 50 pounds above 350, according to
The Washington Post.
Three technical rescue teams were required in Saturday's recovery,
WUSA 9 reported.
In addition to extra personnel, special equipment is required. Fire departments around the country have been stocking up on wider stretchers and larger ambulances to handle bariatric, or obese, patients.
Transporting bariatric patients can injure first responders if they are not supported and equipped adequately, according to the
Journal of Emergency Nursing.
Measures like removing walls and doors may be necessary to get larger patients out, police told
The Baltimore Sun. In Silver Spring, a hole was reportedly drilled in the roof so the man could be hoisted up to the main level from the basement.
The home where he lived in the 12900 block of Autumn Drive was owned by the
Oxford House, a program for people in recovery from alcoholism and addiction, according to
WUSA 9, which reported his death was attributed to natural causes "due to his high-risk lifestyle."