The B.C. Ambulance Service says it's expanding its fleet to include two new custom ambulances designed to transport obese patients.

"We are, anecdotally, seeing more patients with bariatric issues," said B.C. Ambulance Executive Director Dan Froom.

Bariatric is an adjective referring to the treatment of obesity.

Froom said trying to move an obese patient can be physically hard on paramedics, so the new ambulances will have ramps and specialized equipment to move heavy patients safely.

"It's like all of our healthcare models. We have changing, shifting demands," said Froom. "We are rising to the challenge and meeting the demand."   The two new emergency vehicles are expected to enter service in early May and will be stationed in Vancouver and Victoria.

With sufficient notice, they could be deployed anywhere in the province, Froom said.

With files from the CBC's Emily Elias