Jetpack paramedics get off the ground as trials are under way in UK

Paramedic travel times will be drastically cut. Photo: GNAAS

Paramedic travel times will be drastically cut. Photo: GNAAS

It’s an idea so out there that many didn’t think it would get off the ground.

But in Britain, the Great North Air Ambulance Service has begun testing a jetpack that will allow paramedics to fly up mountains to save lives.

After a year of discussion, the jetpack made by Gravity Industries had its first test flight in the Lake District and the early returns look positive.

GNAAS director of operations Andy Mawson described it as “awesome”.

Jetpack paramedics will be able to fly to the top of hard-to-reach hills and other difficult terrains in minutes rather than having to hike for hours.

“There are dozens of patients every month within the complex but relatively small geographical footprint of the Lakes,” Mr Mawson said.

“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.”

The test flight was carried out by Richard Browning, founder of Gravity Industries.

The suit has two mini engines on each arm and one on the back. Photo: GNAAS

He said the suits had two mini engines on each arm and one on the back allowing the paramedic to control their movement just by moving their hands.

“The biggest advantage is its speed,” Mr Mawson said.

“If the idea takes off, the flying paramedic will be armed with a medical kit, with strong pain relief for walkers who may have suffered fractures, and a defibrillator for those who may have suffered a heart attack.

“In a jetpack, what might have taken up to an hour to reach the patient may only take a few minutes, and that could mean the difference between life and death.”

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