The Lake District could become home to the world’s first Jet Suit paramedic after ground-breaking test flights in the area.
THE trials are the result of a collaboration between Gravity Industries, which has developed and patented a 1050 brake horsepower Jet Suit, and the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).
The test at the Langdale Pikes saw Gravity Industries founder and Chief Test Pilot, Richard Browning, fly from the valley bottom to a simulated casualty site.
The site would take around 25 minutes to reach by foot, but the Jet Suit is able to cover that distance in an incredible 90 seconds, opening a range of possibilities in the emergency response arena, said GNAAS.
The pioneering exercise was the culmination of a year of discussions between GNAAS and Gravity Industries.
Andy Mawson, director of operations and paramedic at GNAAS, identified the Lakes as a possible location for a Jet Suit paramedic after hearing of pilot Browning’s work and studying the charity’s own call-out data.
He said: “It showed dozens of patients every month within the complex but relatively small geographical footprint of the Lakes.
“We could see the need. What we didn’t know for sure is how this would work in practice. Well we’ve seen it now and it is, quite honestly, awesome.”
Mawson said in a statement the exercise had “demonstrated the huge potential of utilising Jet Suits to deliver critical care services”.
He added: “In a time in healthcare when we are exhausted with Covid-19 and its effects, it’s important to still push the boundaries.
“Our aircraft will remain a vital part of the emergency response in this terrain, as will the fantastic mountain rescue teams. But this is about looking at supplementing those resources with something completely new.
“We think this technology could enable our team to reach some patients much quicker than ever before. In many cases this would ease the patient’s suffering. In some cases, it would save their lives.”
Richard Browning added: “It was wonderful to be invited to explore the capabilities of the Gravity Jet Suit in an emergency response simulation and work alongside the team at GNAAS.
“We are just scratching the surface in terms of what is possible to achieve with our technology. Emergency response is one of the areas Gravity are actively pursuing, alongside launching a new commercial training location at the world-renowned Goodwood Estate.”
With the test complete, GNAAS and Gravity Industries are now exploring the next steps in this collaboration.
GNAAS is a charity and relies on donations to survive. To find out more visit gna.as/jet-suit
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