29 Sep Jet pack paramedic suit tested in the Lake District that can get to patients in minutes | UK News
Jet pack paramedics could soon be a reality, after a successful test flight took place over the Lake District.
Gravity Industries has been testing the capabilities of its jet pack-suit in emergency situations in Cumbria, which can travel at speeds of up to 32mph (51kmph), alongside the local air ambulance service.
Footage of the test flight shows the pilot seemingly flying over the Lake District with ease to rescue a patient in 90 seconds, with devices attached to his arms and legs.
“There are two patient types who we think can benefit from this,” director of operations at the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS), Andy Mawson, told Sky News.
“The first is those who need the helicopter, but those we can get to a little bit quicker.
“Also patients that don’t require critical care that might have a more simple injury like a broken ankle or a broken arm that may still wait an hour for a mountain rescue team, and we can be by their side in a matter of minutes, giving them some strong pain relief, making them comfortable in lieu of the mountain rescue teams arriving.”
Rather than carrying medical equipment on their backs, users will take the kit, including a ventilator, to the top of the mountain using pouches on their legs, stomach or chest.
Despite the test across the Lake District, Mr Mawson says GNAAS is not yet at the stage to rollout the technology, as Gravity Industries are still tweaking the suit and collecting data.
However, he added that a flight training programme would focus on safety, and initial footage shows that users would not necessarily have to fly quickly or high up to use the suit effectively.
Richard Browning, the test pilot and founder of Gravity Industries, said following the flight: “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.”