It would normally have taken 25 minutes to reach a casualty in Cumbria, but GNAAS said the trial only took a test pilot 90 seconds
Paramedics could soon arrive at accidents by jetpack after a trial launched in the Lake District saw their response time cut to 90 seconds.
The device follows a year of discussions between the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) and the firm Gravity Industries, which has developed the technology used.
The trial followed analysis which showed air ambulances were dealing with between 15 and 20 cases in the Lakes every week at peak times amid a 15 per cent year-on-year increase in tourism and incidents.
It would normally have taken 25 minutes to reach a casualty in Bowfell, Cumbria, but GNAAS said it only took Gravity Industries founder and test pilot Richard Browning 90 seconds.
Andy Mawson, the director of operations and a paramedic with GNAAS, said that ‘jet pack paramedics’ would serve the same purpose as a motorbike responder in an inner-city setting.
“This is to get someone there really quickly and give them the best treatment and triage in lieu of a mountain rescue team or our aircraft arriving,” Mr Mawson said.
“Even with the heroic efforts of the mountain rescue teams, it might take an hour to reach people who have come off their bikes or snapped their legs. With the jet pack it would only take us 10 minutes.”
“At a time of continual bad news we want to send a message of optimism and innovation, and we owe it to our supporters to push the boundaries as much as possible.”
Inventor Mr Browning, 41, set up Gravity Industries in 2017 and said that the 1,050 brake-horsepower device was “very safe” as it does not need to be flown very high.
“The vehicle turns up, they chuck the jet suit on, and instead of an arduous 25-minute walk to find a casualty paramedics could now do it in 90 seconds,” he told The Telegraph.
“I think this can significantly reduce the time to provide critical care to casualties in a huge range of circumstances around the world.”
Mr Browning said he was hoping that the devices would be used more widely by “summer next year”.
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Richard Browning, Lake District, Paramedic, Jet pack, Great North Air Ambulance, United Kingdom
World news – GB – Paramedics could arrive by jetpack after Lake District trial cuts response time to 90 seconds