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A futuristic jet suit which could fly a paramedic to an isolated casualty in only minutes could save hundreds of lives.
The cutting-edge suit, which was demonstrated in a test flight in the Lake District, could be the kind of technology crucial for helping Mountain Rescue Teams in Scotland slash their emergency response times.
Vice Chair of the Scottish Mountain Rescue Service Kev Mitchell has hopes rescue teams in Scotland could soon benefit from the technology.
Speaking to The Herald, he said: “Obviously, in Scotland, we have some very mountainous and sheer areas, so I think it’s a very exciting development.
“From a Mountain Rescue perspective we are really excited that we could be using this technology to get to casualties faster.
“If someone was having an acute medical issue such as a heart attack or a stroke where a very very fast medical intervention could make a difference, then the jet pack could significantly increase their chances of survival.
“name”: “Jet suit paramedic”,
“description”: “Air ambulance service tests jet suit for paramedics”,
“We’re not yet aware of the weather constraints as with helicopters and drones, but I assume there will be weather constraints with the jet pack as well.
“There will certainly be limitations, but it’s a fantastic development that could save hundreds of lives.”
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The firm responsible for developing the technology, Gravity Industries, had been in talks with the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) over the past year.
The dedicated helicopter emergency service currently operates in the Scottish borders and across parts of Northern England.
According to GNAAS, the casualty site would have taken around 25 minutes to reach by foot but Mr Browning arrived in his 1050 brake horsepower jet suit in 90 seconds.
Andy Mawson, director of operations and paramedic at GNAAS, said the Lake District could be a possible location for a “Jet Suit paramedic” following a study of the charity’s 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.”
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Richard Browning, Lake District, Paramedic, Jet pack
World news – GB – WATCH: Jet suit paramedic could save hundreds of lives, says Scottish Mountain Rescue