UK Air Ambulance Service Tests Paramedic Jet Suit

Is the flying jet suit the next new thing in paramedicine? (Photo/Great North Air Ambulance Service)

Is this the future of paramedicine?

A collaboration between Gravity Industries and the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) has resulted in a test flight of a paramedic jet suit.

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The test saw Gravity Industries founder and Chief Test Pilot Richard Browning fly from the valley bottom to a simulated casualty site on a mountain. The simulated casualty site would take around 25 minutes to reach by foot. The Gravity Jet Suit is able to cover that distance in 90 seconds, opening a range of possibilities in the emergency response arena.

The ground-breaking exercise was the culmination of a year of discussion between GNAAS and Gravity Industries.

Andy Mawson, director of operations and paramedic at GNAAS, identified the location as a possible location for a Jet Suit paramedic after hearing of Mr. Browning’s work and then 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,” a region above Leeds, England.

Mawson said the exercise had demonstrated the huge potential of utilizing Jet Suits to deliver critical care services.

He added: “In a time in healthcare when we are exhausted with COVID 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.

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